Is a lucid dream a real physical phenomenon?
When I was in elementary school, I had a close girlfriend. She was very beautiful, with very long hair, like a doll. But what she most attracted me was the kind of “mystery” she passed on to me. At that time, she told me that she could control her dreams, let herself dream continuously, or decide the direction of dreams in her dreams.
The strange dreams she told me deeply attracted me, but I never really believed in the control of dreams. Until I was seventeen or eighteen, I suddenly found that I could realize in my dream that I was dreaming. At the same time, I was willing to let this dream continue. Once the dream plot made me dissatisfied, I could be in the dream. Thinking “It’s not good, it’s better…”, then the dream will change to what I want in the dream.
I know that this incident sounds too illusory, and I can only leave it behind when I have been trained in science. It was not until I stumbled across a book not long ago that I knew that it turned out that there is something to control dreams. This phenomenon is called lucid dream in modern science, that is, in a dream, you can realize that you are dreaming. This article will introduce this phenomenon through the record of a pioneer of lucid dreams. Mary Arnold-Forster, a British woman born in 1861, wrote her own experience in controlling dreams in a small book “The Study of Dreams”, although this It is not a rigorous scientific research work, the subsequent neuroscience research has wonderfully proved the correctness of many of her theories.
The concept of “lucid dreaming” was first proposed by the Dutch psychiatrist Frederik van Eeden in 1913. Lucid dreams often start in the middle of sleep. Dreamers find that certain things are impossible in reality, such as flying, being able to pass through walls, or seeing dead relatives. At this time, they can use This discovery gains self-awareness. At the same time, lucid dreams are also divided into different degrees. Sometimes you can fully realize that you are dreaming and wake up quickly; sometimes, you will continue to be trapped in dreams, but it is possible to actively manipulate your dreams. The vast majority of people who are obsessed with lucid dreams and keep trying are attracted by the elements of fantasy and adventure.
This is the case for Arnold-Forster. When she realized that she could control the dream, she decided to enjoy the joy of “immersing in the tremor of being chased and killed”, because, in the comfortable bedside, she can satisfy herself about tricks and spy wars. Fantasy. Amazingly, before reading these studies and articles by chance, I never knew that I was a lucid dreamer, but my lucid dreams were indeed the subject of adventure, suspense, and conspiracy. And once the plot direction makes me feel too scared, I will “erased the plot and start over” in my dream.
Forster also wrote in the book that later she began to be able to further develop autonomously in dreams, and especially liked testing the limits of the body and flying ability in dreams. “With a light push or jump with my feet, I left the ground,” she wrote. “The gentle paddle motion with both hands can speed up the rhythm of the flight. This motion can be used to make me fly higher, or Used to turn, especially when passing through any narrow places, such as porches or windows.” As many lucid dreamers describe later, this skill requires focused training, even in dreams, we can’t help but Get great skills with a little effort.
“It took me a long time to fly five or six feet above the ground. I found that I gradually gained the strength to reach these heights, with less difficulty and less effort.” I have had many dreams about learning and practising flying in dreams. Always on the school playground, I learn to jump, and then my body flies high as if weightless, but I can’t control myself well, sometimes I fly very low and then fall, sometimes I fly too High and unable to control direction and landing.
Decades after the science of “lucid dreaming”, these vivid narratives attracted the attention of Harvard Medical School professor Allan Hobson. Allan Hobson heard about this book at a party. During his treatment of patients with schizophrenia in the hospital, he first tried to practice Arnold-Forster’s tips.
“Sure enough, I quickly started dreaming and realized that I was dreaming; I was awake. I could observe and even direct my dreams,” Allan Hobson wrote of his own experience, “and, just like Mary Arnold-Forster Same, I can fly. I can have sex with anyone I like, and I can even wake myself up to better recall the exotic dream adventure, and then go back to the previous dream, or the dream I prefer, Continue the previous behaviour. This experience convinced me that the science of dreams is not only possible but extremely promising.”
Research has shown that among practitioners of lucid dreaming, the most frequently occurring and manipulated situations are flight and sex. Now, Hobson is working with Ursula Voss of Goethe University in Frankfurt to scan the brains of lucid dreamers to try to understand how the sleeping brain wakes up in dreams with the increase in self-awareness. So far, this research can focus on several related factors, such as the high activity of the frontal lobe of the brain and the increase in gamma waves and their continuity.
Now, more researchers are further exploring brain activity in lucid dreams and want to use lucid dreams as a nightmare treatment, especially in the treatment of children.
In 2006, research conducted by the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands designed a set of cognitive behavioural training based on lucid dreams. Subjects received lucid dream therapy (LDT) to try to change the outcome of their nightmares. In the end, the subjects’ nightmares were significantly reduced. Some apps for recording and controlling lucid dreams have also been developed. An APP called DreamZ will record the motion in the dream, and play the dreamer’s recording (content such as “I am dreaming”) or a piece of music during the REM period to remind the dreamer.
Forster’s records provide valuable information, although only the beginning of a deeper understanding. Forster herself said that her initial goal was to help all of us appreciate the sleeping mind a little bit more — “to remind us of the happiness that our dreams bring to life that is often overlooked.”, A third of our lives are asleep-but few of us enjoy the adventures in our dreams. “Only when the terrible, sad, evil dreams no longer control us, can we fully enjoy our dreams.” Forster wrote, “Because only in this way can we start the night adventure with confidence. Only then can we take the keys they lent us to explore the unknown and pleasant country.”
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