Writing Prompts: Lucid Dreaming

It is said that many people will experience lucid dreaming over the course of their lives. To have a lucid dream is to be aware that you’re dreaming, and this has a number of appealing elements. If having a nightmare, you can lift yourself out of it by either making yourself wake up, or fighting back against whatever is causing the nightmare. In other settings, you could have a conversation that you wouldn’t normally be able to have, in situations that could never take place in reality. For example, how about a lucid dream where you have a conversation with a superhero (or villain?!)?

The trouble is, when we’re dreaming, our minds can’t usually distinguish between the dream and reality. What we know to be utterly strange in real life doesn’t unhinge us in our slumber world. I had a dream the other night about Grand Theft Auto VI, which isn’t even finished yet, and in the dream, a mission arose that invoked the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Formula 1. These somewhat disparate elements made perfect sense within the dream world; my brain couldn’t fathom that it was so weird that I must have been dreaming.

Triggering a lucid dream is tricky, and much depends upon your mental state, what you have recently watched, what you have recently eaten, and even whether you sleep on your back or stomach. What I am tempted to do is try a few techniques that may help induce such a dream. Repeating mantras around dreaming shortly before going to sleep is one method, and this will be my first port of call. I will tell myself ‘I will have a lucid dream’, over and over, and we will see what happens.

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