What are lucid dreams?

Dreams hold powerful meanings and play an important role. To understand lucid dreaming and enhance the meaning behind your lucid dreaming adventures, it is important to understand why we dream in the first place.  What are the meanings behind what we encounter in our dream world, and why do we remember certain aspects of the dream so vividly.  Here are some theories about why we dream, though there are many more:

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1. One recent theory suggests that dream content is the result of our brains interpreting external stimuli while we sleep. Noises and tactile input sets off the dream experience.

2. Dreams have also been said to have an organizational and clean-up function, where they serve to get rid of stray fragments of memory and thought in order to refresh the mind for the new day.  Similarly, another theory holds that the dream helps piece together ideas and thoughts that go together but were not associated during the day.

3. Some have suggested that dreams and dream meanings are merely a by-product of the activation of parts of our brains that hold memories, images, and emotion.  The signals from these parts of the brain are pieced together in a way that makes sense, but not always completely.

4. Frued, and then later psychoanalysts suggested that dreams are a representation of unconscious desires, feelings, and motivations. These may be impulses that are normally repressed and need an outlet.  Sometimes these repressed desires are expressed directly in the dream, while at other times they are expressed indirectly through metaphor and stand-ins.

5. There is also a model of dream interpretation that suggests that dreams are a sort of self-psychology.  A step down from the psychoanalytic view, this theory suggests that its not unconscious impulses but rather conscious confusion and uncertainty that is tied together in the dream world.

We will be adding more content here soon, and if you also have ideas about dream meanings and theory.

How to Remember Your Dreams:
A Dream Journal Remains the Best Way. Their is wide variation in how many dreams people remember. Most people remember dreams that are particularly vivid or carry substantial meaning. However, these types of dreams may only occur for some people once or twice each week. People also tend to remember dreams that happen close to when they wake up, or if they are awoken in the middle of the night. Finally, nap dreams are often remembered well.

The best way to train yourself to remember your dreams is through suggestion-and-action, which basically means telling yourself that you will remember your dreams and doing a ritual afterwards that reinforces that. And the best ritual by far – keeping a dream journal. Each night before you go to bed, tell yourself that you will be recording your dreams in your dream journal (it can be a book, an electronic recorder, or even a video camera if you want to act something out!). Keep the dream journal by your bed. Each morning, first thing before you rise, record all the dreams you can remember, in as much detail as you can remember.

As time goes on, you will remember more and more dreams, and you will recall more detail and depth of each dream through the use of the dream journal. If you ever feel a little stuck and can’t remember your dreams as well, try waking up a little earlier than normal (like 30 minutes or so). This can help jump start your memory of the previous night’s dreams.

The Meanings of Common Dream Themes
Dream symbols, themes, and actions can have deep meaning. There are many sites that cover dream interpretation and meaning, so we will just mention the most common dreams themes that people tend to share.  The purpose is to show how dream meanings can be derived from what happens in a dream.  As many of you who have had lucid dreams know, these themes and actions are often the point where you become lucid, and therefore can be used as a jumping off point to find deeper meaning and/or reduce the associated anxiety or stress.  In addition, through lucid dreaming you can recreate these conditions and then conquer them – another good way to reduce or combat the associate real world anxiety or stress.

Here is the partial listing:

Losing Your Teeth

– If you lose your teeth in your dream, you may be feeling unable to take control and address issues in your life, particualrly in your social life.

Finding yourself naked or partially naked

– When you dream that you are naked in a public place, you may be feeling afraid of being exposed as not as good or prepared or competent as you should be in the real world.

Flying

– Flying is a good sign, signalling that you feel flexible and free, though it could also mean that you are looking for escape

Falling or being up too high with no way down

– When you dream about falling, it can indicate fear of failure or loss of control in your life.

Being Chased

– If you are avoiding something in the real world, or otherwise feel a problem might be catching up to you, you might dream about being chased.

Being Tested, not being ready for a test

– Depending on how ready you feel or how prepared you are in your dream this type of dream often suggests you do not feel prepared for something in the real world

Dream Psychology

Many psychologists, especially those who come from the “psychoanalytic” viewpoint, see dreams as a necessary and health way for the unconscious to express meaning – its needs, wants, and fears.  Thus a question some prospective lucid dreamers have asked is whether controlling the dreams can cause any problems.  The short answer: No one can know for sure, but there are no available reports of lucid dreamers being any less healthy than anyone else.

The likelihood is that because lucid dreams are only a fraction of the total dreaming you will have in any given night, there are probably no psychological problems created by replacing some normal dreams with lucid dreams.  In addition, the benefits of lucid dreaming – reducing anxiety and increasing pleasure – may far outweigh any small costs, if there are any.

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