Lucid Dreaming – when a dreamer is aware that they are dreaming (LD)
WILD – Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming; maintaining consciousness while you’re body is asleep
Sleep Paralysis – being unable to move while asleep
I’m pretty good at remembering my dreams. I think I have always had lucid dreams, but the first one I properly remember was during my travels in Burma. I ‘woke up’ with a sense of deep fear that someone was watching me from across the hostel room, and when I turned around it was a dead grandma staring down at me. I don’t think she was malicious, but I was pretty afraid, scared shitless actually, and all I could do was muster all my strength to turn around and prayed that I’d fall back asleep.
After that I would have really strange dreams (a couple not as scary, a couple even worse) accompanied with some light ringing in my head and a general feeling of stuck-ness, like I was awake and I couldn’t do anything. I was at university at the time, and for most of it I chalked up to partying too much and stress.
Coming back from university I started having much more intense lucid dreams, although it wasn’t until last night that I questioned whether this was a normal thing or not, and I’ve now come to know as Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming. The ringing has gotten much louder for one, not just in terms of sound but also as a vibration in my head. It’s like your brain is a bell that someone’s violently shaking. A school bell going off, and I guess in many ways it is a signal.
My right hand – always the right it seems – will ring too, like I’m playing a guitar and I’ve left my fingers on the strings. And up until last night I still thought that these were panic attacks I was having brought on by excessive nights out, and in because I thought that I assumed my brain was melting… or shutting down. It would frighten me so much that when I finally did wake up – a lot of the time after a few false awakenings – I was too scared to go back to sleep.
It happened again last night.
I’ll explain it step by step.
The dream started in my room, and a friend was hanging out with me. I really wanted him to leave, but the room quickly turned into my cousin’s house. I could hear my grandma (the alive one) calling my name from downstairs, so I ran down to her, but my running speed was super fast and I found myself slamming into walls.
That’s when the ringing began – it’s happened so often now that when it begins I get filled with a sense of dread that my body is shutting down and I tell myself I’m dreaming and I need to wake up. That’s exactly what happened last night: I was so afraid I tried to wake myself up. I false awoke, lying in my room, in the dark. I could look around my room and it felt so real, but my right hand was ringing and I knew I hadn’t properly woken up. Someone opened the door to my room and started speaking loudly at me, I couldn’t make out the words but the tone was authoritative. I tried to touch my stomach and couldn’t.
I think I breathed in and out a couple of times and told myself to calm down. And then I eventually woke up for real.
At this point, I thought… it’s strange for this to be happening now. I Googled whether anyone else had ever had the ringing before, and lo and behold, turns out people do! And there are terms and acronyms and tips and advice to go with it! I think my biggest mistake these past years has been pushing away the dreams when really I should be embracing them. Every time I’ve had a WILD I’d wake myself up (at some point I’ll post some of my other lucid dreams, which might give you an idea as to why I have always tried to wake myself up…), when it seems like people actually want to get into this state, have trained themselves to get to it!
Another advice people have given to lucid dreamers is to keep a sleep journal… which is actually why I started this post. I’m not too versed in it just yet, but let this be the start of my official lucid dream journal. It’s partly for me and partly because I’d love to hear what other people think. I don’t have lucid dreams all the time actually, they come maybe once every few months – it’s just the feelings of them that really affect me. So I’m hoping in keeping this journal I’ll learn more about my dreams, myself and the world of lucidity in general.
TLDR: I sometimes have pretty lucid dreams that end up becoming wake induced lucid dreaming. I used to think it was due to nights out but have found a whole world of people who lucid dream. This is the start of an attempt to keep a sleep journal.