Saturday, October 4, 2008

Lucid Dreaming Experiments

For the past year I have been dabbling with lucid dreaming techniques. For those you that aren't aware, a lucid dream is where you realize that you are dreaming and by becoming awake within the dream you are able to manipulate the dream itself. Many of the techniques I began using can be found in the book Exploring the World of Lucid Dreams by Dr. Stephen Laberge. Laberge actually did his PhD research at Stanford proving the existence of lucid dreams and is considered to be one of the pioneers in the field.

I had decided to attempt to lucid dream in large part so that I might explore my own subconscious mind and also to tap into Jung's idea of the collective unconsciousness. I have had many dreams which some would consider to be precognitive, that I personally just consider weird and a bit interesting, but I tend to think we all have these dreams where we sometimes see the future, it's just that some of pay more attention to our dreams then others. Some of us also choose to not recall our dreams, which I will discuss in another post and how one can choose to remember their dreams if they would like to.

Using lucid dreams for spiritual purposes is not original. The Tibetans have been using something they call Tibetan Dream Yoga for at least a thousand years. I will perhaps talk about this at another time.

My most successful experiments of late have been with the aid of over the counter supplements. The main supplements I have been using, particularly galantamine, I first read about in Thomas Yutchak's book, Advanced Lucid Dreaming. Galantamine essentially works by helping to boost the levels of acetylcholine in the brain, which are at their highest point during REM activity. If you choose to use galantamine it is necessary that you wake up after roughly five or six hours sleep since most of your deep REM periods are towards the end of the night. I will speak more on the brain's neurotransmitters and how they effect sleep later if there is an interest.

For now, I will be posting a series of my supplement experiments below. If there is sufficient interest in these posts I will also post about some my actual dream results.

The lucid dream attempts that I made are referred to as Waking Induced Lucid Dreams or WILDs, since you are waking up and doing some mental exercises which allow the dreamer to move from waking consciousness directly into the dream state.

First Log, September 27, 2008:

The substances I used were 4mg of nicotine gum, a b-complex vitamin (which included 50 mg of choline, 110 mg b6, and various other b vitamins), and 1,500mg of L-Tryptophan.

I began the night by taking 1,500mg of L-Tryptophan for the purposes of causing REM-rebound. In the future I will be taking 5-HTP instead of the tryptophan (I'm just waiting for it to come in the mail).

I woke up after six hours of sleep and took the b-complex and began chewing the nicotine gum. I chose the gum since it absorbs faster than the patch.

I used the LudicdRemix track and my normal meditation afterwards. After falling asleep an hour after waking I did not have an LD, but I did have an extremely vivid journey/quest style dream. My dream recall was better than usual as well.

I think I failed to attain lucidity due to how groggy the L-Tryptophan made me feel, which made concentration more difficult.

Most of my logs will be done on the weekends, since that is when I can spend the most time sleeping. Please feel free to comment and leave any suggestions for supplements you would like to see me test out.

September 28th, 2008

Before bedtime I took 200mg of B-6, I wasn't sure if this was the right time to take it or not, but it did produce a very vivid dream at around 5:00 in the morning.

I awoke at 5:30 and proceeded to chew a piece of 4mg nicotine gum for half an hour. I had some trouble falling back to sleep, this is probably due to the nicotine increasing my heart rate.

I had two dreams after falling back to sleep, both nightmares and I almost never have nightmares. I was not able to wake up within the dream and become lucid though. The nightmares were extremely vivid and the nicotine seemed to increase my recall.

I will be trying out galantamine w/choline on Tuesday hopefully. After I attempt using it alone, I may try combining it with nicotine.

September 30, 2008

I took nothing the night before and woke up at 7:00. I cooked my wife breakfast and took 8mg of galantamine, 450mg of choline, and a b complex vitamin. I went back to bed at 9:00.

I had two WILDs successfully, which I was quite shocked by. When I have had WILDs without the supplements it was much harder, although this still required a decent amount of concentration. Also, I was a little surprised that the descriptions of feeling like your entire body was vibrating were quite accurate.

Unfortunately, on the first WILD I woke myself up since I heard a noise in my apartment and on the second WILD I had a false awakening and thought I was walking around my house for a while until I woke up.

I experienced no side effects.

October 4th, 2008

This morning I woke up at 5:30, having slept for five and half hours. I took 8mg of galantamine, 450mg of choline, 1mg of yohimbe, 300mg of l-theanine, and a b-complex vitamin. When I took the yohimbe, which was taken for the purpose of control and being able to recall waking memory while lucid, I took it about 20 minutes after taking the other supplements since it absorbs faster than the others supposedly.

I fell asleep at roughly 6:30 and I had another successful lucid dream. With the yohimbe I was able to remember more easily that I was dreaming during the long dream. The dream lasted for roughly an hour and a half, but I was lucid for probably half the time, and towards the end I lost most of my control and awareness.

Tomorrow I may attempt the l-glutamine, l-theanine, amino stack, but with the added additions of EEGC and yohimbe. Most people seem to have trouble consistently attaining lucidity with the amino blend, perhaps with the addition of EEGC and yohimbe this blend might work better.


Zach Wallmark said...

Very interesting experiments! Keep us posted as your LD trials progress.

Lusus Naturae said...

Interesting stuff, Jared. I’d be curious to know what the trigger is alerting you to that fact that you’re dreaming. In my personal experience with lucid dreaming, the largest hurdle within the dream is simply becoming cognizant of that fact that I’m dreaming.

There are multiple techniques I’ve tried to trigger dream-awareness, the most accurate of which is reading text within my dream. I’ve noticed that vision is frequently impaired and the text itself is prone to change. Next time you’re in a dream and want to test for lucidity, try to find something to read. Chances are, the second time you read it it will be different. You may also notice that you can only focus on a very small portion of the text itself, maybe three or four words at a time.

I’ve also heard that lighting is static in dreams, so try flipping a light switch or entering an area that is brighter/darker.

Keep the experiment going!

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Anonymous said...

Dreams only last for about 8 secs