Is lucid dreaming dangerous in any way? Can it lead to problems in your waking life somehow? These are common questions that people ask, and that makes sense. Lucidity does not seem natural or normal at first. It feels like you should leave your subconscious alone and allow for “normal” dreaming. Some people say that dreaming provides a way for your mind to think things through, or exhaust the thoughts and feelings of the day before so you can move on into the next day. There are also theories that say that dreaming allows us to find new solutions or insights that can be helpful. If dream control interrupts any of these processes, does that make it somehow dangerous?
Is lucid dreaming dangerous – in short, no
The short answer is that there is no evidence that lucid dreaming is dangerous, and by now there are an incredibly wide variety of reports about lucidity and practitioners that share their experiences on forums and other online groups. Of course as with much of this field, more research would be helpful to see if there are any negative or of course positive effects of dream control. The following is our best guess as far as a more detailed answer to the question “is lucid dreaming dangerous?”
Is Lucid Dreaming Dangerous: Can you get hurt
Can you get hurt during your lucid dreams? The answer to this question is actually quite simple. When you are dreaming your body goes into a frozen state. This is a healthy and natural occurrence which protects you from actually moving around like you are in your dreams and possibly hurting yourself. So a very basic answer is that you do not have to worry about taking control of your dreams and then causing yourself harm as you move around in the dream state. Of course you will also not carry forward any problems encountered in the dream. If you bruise your elbow or cut your lip in your dream, that will go away by the time you wake up!
There is one exception to the above and that is when you experience movement that occurs both in the dream and in your bed because you have not fully transitioned into a sleeping state. During this time, called the hypnagogic state, you can move a little even though you are dreaming. You might kick, brace yourself if you are falling in the dream, or even talk. Of course this type of movement will be most likely to occur if you are using wake-induced techniques. So is lucid dreaming dangerous if you do use those techniques given that you might move a little? It’s quite unlikely, and as you get better at your techniques and know to take things easy as you first slip into the dream you may be able to avoid this problem.
Is Lucid Dreaming Dangerous: Are there physical effects?
Another reason why people ask “is lucid dreaming dangerous?” is because they are wondering whether a lack of normal and natural sleep can be a problem. The short answer is that lucid dreaming does not cause any problems related to a lack of sleep or a disruption in sleep cycles. You are still dreaming during REM sleep and your body is still enjoying the benefits of normal sleep. You should feel as rejuvenated as usual even if you have the most active dreams.
There are some exceptions, however, and they have to do with any lucid dream aids you choose and/or any wake-induced approaches you use. For example, any lucid dreaming supplement you use could have an effect on the depth, quality, of cycle of your sleep. If you are using wake-induced techniques and this involves waking yourself up in the middle of the night, that may have an effect. And finally, methods such as using a mask may end up causing you to wake up more frequently over the course of the night.
So, Is Lucid Dreaming Dangerous?
As you can see, the short answer to the question “is lucid dreaming dangerous?” is no. You cannot hurt yourself due to actual movements while you are sleeping, and you will not disrupt your sleep if you are careful about what techniques you use. But as you can see from the above, there are some potential mild issues that you might face when practicing dream control, and it is worth mentioning ways you can lessen their potential impact.
When is lucid dreaming dangerous?
- If you are someone who routinely kicks or otherwise moves when you are passing from a waking state to natural sleep, you may want to concentrate on dream induced techniques, at least at first, where that kind of movement will be less likely.
- While it may sound obvious, and may not be common, you should not practice wake-induced techniques if you are sleeping on a top bunk bed, your bed is quite high, or you sleep particularly close to someone. The kicking and other movement could be just enough to push you out of bed or cause you to kick your partner.
- If you really need a good night’s sleep or have had trouble sleeping, you may want to be careful about techniques that require you to wake up in the middle of the night or that require naps that could throw off your nighttime sleep.
- Similar to the above, do not use lucid dreaming supplements that cause changes in your sleep patterns if you need to be sure to get a good night’s sleep. In general do not use supplements that you may either be allergic to or have a bad reaction to.
- While not technically dangerous, your lucid dream, like any other dream,, could turn into a nightmare. There are many causes of lucid nightmares which we will devote a post to in the future, but for now suffice to say there are scary lucid dreaming stories out there that suggest that this can be a caution.
The tips above will help lower the chances that you will have any of the mild lucid dreaming issues listed above. But the bottom line is that because we are asking about the word “dangerous”, we are really answering about more significant dangers than those. Perhaps people wonder whether certain lucid dreaming content can be dangerous, such as characters that pop up in your dream, or places you decide to go and things you decide to do. There is no research that would suggest this, and little on forums that your indicate any of this is a problem. So the answer is no to “is lucid dreaming dangerous?”.