Lucid dreaming is a powerful tool that unlocks your mind and opens up a world of possibilities for your sleep, after learning –link: what exactly lucid dreaming is- and –link: how to prepare your room for lucid dreaming.- But some people let the excitement get the better of them and miss a crucial part: to learn about what to expect when lucid dreaming.
Along the way, the dreamer might experience things that are above the norm that can be scary and intimidating if not understood properly. We will go to the specific directions on how to initiate lucid dreams in a future post, but for now, it is very important to understand what to expect first.
The Hypnagogic State
This is a crucial period during the sleeping phase that may cause some fear if it is experienced but there is no understanding of the events that occur during this stage. The Hypnagogic State, which, translated from Greek literally means “sleep guide”, is the state of mind that may induce visions, sounds, even emotions and intellectual insights as we fall asleep. Many people skip this part, what with our hectic busy lifestyles sapping our strength during the day and causing us to just collapse to sleep at night. But those who stay aware as they fall asleep, random shapes, landscapes, visual patterns, even blurry but familiar faces, appear in their field of vision.
For many, this can be a harrowing experience, but these images and their accompanying sensations can actually trigger lucid dreams, so don’t be afraid of what you see, hear, and feel!
The Transition To Dream State
Once you hit the hypnagogic state and the visual and auditory hallucinations that happen, it now falls onto what you will do to be able to transition to the lucid dream state. The stages of the transition can be divided into 3 major stages: the start, the middle, and the end stages, and each part has different levels of hallucinations you need to be able to go through.
For visual hallucinations, the starting stage contains random speckles and shapes, some bright lights, or patterns that all float around or just be static in your field of vision. The middle stage is when the hallucinations you are seeing begin to take shape, and the hallucinations last longer and become very vivid, as you inch closer and closer to the final stage, where the dream imagery fully replaces your vision.
For auditory hallucinations, the starting stage may cause you to hear random sounds that vary in intensity, but most people report having quite alarming and loud sounds that can be disconcerting. The middle stage is the same as the start, but during this time sounds are more audible, and you may even hear a speech from the dream characters that may appear in your dream. As you enter the final stage, all of the sounds replace your hearing and become very audible, like finally entering a movie theater.
Other hallucinations, such as a sense of touch and even emotions, also have stages. The starting stage may cause you to feel like you’re floating, like when you are in a swimming pool. Emotions become mixed as if you are being adjusted from what you are feeling when awake and what you will feel in your dream. In the middle stage, the feeling of floating or hovering will begin to be replaced with more control; think of the difference between simply floating on water and treading on it. Your emotions may begin to settle in, but not fully there yet. And at the final stage, you will gain full control of your dream body, and your emotions will fit what you will feel in the dream.
This is just the start of what to expect from lucid dreaming! And while the possibilities are quite exciting, there are also things that we need to be wary of. Stay tuned for part two where we will discuss taking precautions against one of the more fearful things dreamers may experience: sleep paralysis.
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