Dangers of Lucid Dreaming: Should You Worry?
If you’ve ever been interested in working with your dreams, you may have contemplated lucid dreaming at some point. The idea of actively and consciously taking part in your dreams can be appealing. I was recently reading an online forum where lucid dreamers were sharing their experiences. They talked about being able to fly in their sleep, and traveling to far off lands and having telepathic conversations with loved ones miles away. But some people in the forum who had never tried it voiced some concerns. They wondered if there were risks involved with lucid dreaming. They asked, what are the dangers of lucid dreaming?
Lucid dreaming is a dream state in which a part of your mind is conscious and aware that you are dreaming. If you are a lucid dreamer, you can literally control some elements of the dream so it’s not a passive experience. Think about how useful lucid dreaming can be. Imagine that you are dreaming of a masked man chasing you, and you are able to stop and pull the man’s mask off and ask him what he wants. Or, imagine you are dreaming about your soulmate and you can ask him or her questions about how to ensure that the two of you meet. Who wouldn’t want to do that? You can discover some other reasons why you might want to become a lucid dreamer here.
However, life rarely exists in black and white. There are pros and cons to everything. In other words, there is always an upside and a downside. While lucid dreaming can help you to solve problems and learn more about yourself, there can be some uncomfortable consequences of it, as well. Let’s examine what some of them may be.
Common fears about lucid dreaming
Is lucid dreaming dangerous? It’s not an unusual question. In fact, it’s a good idea to ask questions about anything you’re thinking about studying or exploring. The lucid dreaming forum I mentioned above showed that it’s not uncommon for people to be afraid to try lucid dreaming techniques. Let’s look at a couple of common fears.
The fear that you’ll become trapped in the dream.
One of the most common fears people have about lucid dreams is that they might find themselves in a lucid dream and be unable to wake up. Lucid dreams can feel like an alternate reality, and some people worry that they can find themselves trapped in it and unable to get back into their waking life. This fear probably comes from horror movies where people found themselves trapped in some alternate dimension. But there doesn’t see to be much real-world evidence that this can happen.
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The fear that you’ll die in the lucid dream.
Some people are worried about something that’s a little more permanent. What if you get killed in a lucid dream? Would that mean you would die in real life? It might seem like the stakes are higher with lucid dreams because you’re actively taking part in the lucid dream. However, the likelihood of dying in a lucid dream are no greater than the odds of dying in a regular dream.
The fear that you’ll get lost in the lucid dream.
During lucid dreams, we have the ability to go anywhere. Some lucid dreamers even describe leaving this dimension and exploring alternate realities. That sounds great, but what if you excitedly explore some unknown path and get lost? Would you be able to find your way back? If that’s your fear, remember that you can do ANYTHING in a lucid dream, so you can always tell yourself to make your way home.
Putting the Dangers of Lucid Dreaming in Perspective
The good news is that lucid dreaming has not been known to hurt anyone. But there is one aspect of lucid dreaming that might be uncomfortable. Before you try anything, it’s always a good idea to know all sides of it so you can make a decision about whether it is something for you.
One of the cons of lucid dreaming may be a sense of discomfort for some people. Have you ever heard of sleep paralysis? You may have experienced it if you’ve ever woken up in the middle of the night unable to move. Consciously you’re awake but you can’t seem to move any parts of your body so you literally feel paralyzed. The experience can be terrifying mainly because you feel that you have absolutely no control over your body.
Sleep paralysis is a pretty common occurrence during lucid dreaming. But there is a reason for that, and the reason is actually for your benefit. As scary as sleep paralysis can be, it’s actually helping you. If you have a terrifying dream or an action-oriented dream, your body may move involuntarily. You may kick or scratch or punch, hurting yourself or someone else. Naturally, you don’t want that to happen.
Sleep paralysis protects you by preventing that from happening. When you’re sleeping and sleep paralysis takes over, it ensures that your body remains still and doesn’t respond to the stimuli of the dream. The thing is, as long as you’re sleeping, you never feel the paralysis take hold.
But when you are lucid dreaming, you are conscious so while you’re still in a dreaming state, you’re experiencing everything as if you were awake. So you could find yourself feeling the terror of being paralyzed.
Obviously sleep paralysis is not a permanent condition and you will eventually wake up and be fine. But this may be an unfortunate consequence of lucid dreaming that you don’t like.
Knowledge can help you overcome the dangers of lucid dreaming
The more you know about lucid dreaming, the more you’ll know what to expect and the less likely you’ll be hindered by fears. In fact, I’d argue that more people are afraid of the unknown than the idea of lucid dreaming, itself.
There are also a number of lucid dreaming skills and techniques that can help you to become a more effective lucid dreamer. For example, visualization skills and dream recall skills can help you make the most of the lucid dreaming landscape and get more out of it. There are also techniques that can help you to wake up when you want to. Having that knowledge can dispel those worries about becoming trapped in a lucid dream.
A lucid dreaming course can provide you with exercises that will introduce these techniques to you and strengthen your lucid dreaming skills. You can learn the skills before you start exploring the lucid dreaming landscape.
So should you worry about the dangers of lucid dreaming? Do your research and trust your gut. If you feel very uncomfortable, don’t move forward. But if you’re drawn to the idea, it’s definitely worth exploring. While certain aspects of lucid dreaming can be uncomfortable, there are so many benefits you can capitalize on. Lucid dreaming can help you to gain more insight into your unconscious mind and overcome your deepest fears. If you’re so inclined to explore the idea, it may shed light onto your current life path.