Scary lucid dreams can be off-putting to some and many people in the lucid dreaming community have shared a common concern: When they have scary lucid dreams they get so excited that they quickly wake up. The lucid dream itself becomes very short and the opportunity to fully control the dream limited. Part of the reason for this is merely the science of dreaming itself. Dreams happen during REM sleep which is the shallowest sleep pattern in the cycle, and therefore a person is roused easily during dream times – especially during those REM cycles closer to the time we wake up in the early morning. These dreams may be easier to remember, but they are also easier to wake up from. The excitement caused by scary lucid dreams only adds to this probability.
Here is a different take, though very interesting, on how to leave a scary lucid dream: Lucid Dreaming: How to Wake Up From Them
Scary Lucid Dreams: Characters
You may have seen movies where figures in lucid dreams seem angry that the character in question is there. They seem ready to turn on the dreamer, and are generally threatening. Many who have had scary lucid dreams come to realize that this characterization from movies is actually quite true – perhaps the writers got advice from real scary lucid dream stories!
The characters in the scary lucid dreams are not really dangerous, and they are unlikely to ruin the experience for you unless you are being too assertive in the dream. In other words, you do need to respect these figures and realize that they may stand as a reminder from your subconscious that it still wants some control of what happens. Your dreams have always been ways for your subconscious to express its creativity, work out issues, and explore new realities. It won’t want to give up control to your conscious mind, and therefore is concerned about the fact that you are awake and aware.
That said, if you successfully learn how to lucid dream you will also notice that you can make peace with your subconscious, allowing parts of the dream to unfold without your guidance, while you take control of other parts. In other words, as you rehearse for your dream experience – a key to most dream induced lucid dreaming techniques – make sure you are preparing to allow your mind to retain some control. If those problematic figures go away, perhaps you were successful.
Scary Lucid Dreams: Meanings
We’ve described “passive lucid dreaming” in several places on our site. As you may know, passive lucid dreaming involves just sitting back and noticing what is going on, not taking an active role in trying to change things or move around too much. The goal of passive lucid dreaming is both to learn a little about our subconscious, and also to try to make the dream last longer. When it comes to scary lucid dreams, the former becomes significant.
We can learn a lot from our dreams, and there is no better way to learn than close up while you are aware. Many people who do not lucid dream keep dream journals so they can remember their dreams and then derive meaning from them, but the lucid dreamer can watch things even more close up. And scary lucid dreams provide as much or more meaning than non-scary dreams. Do they show us what we are afraid of, or where our anxieties lay? Do they point out challenges we want to overcome and obstacles we need to get by? Maybe they point to issues we need to resolve. No matter what the meaning, you may learn something from scary lucid dreams, and using passive techniques may once again ensure that the dream will last longer and allow you to really watch things.
Share your scary lucid dreams
You may want to share your scary lucid dream stories, whether here or at one of the excellent lucid dreaming forums that are out there. People may be able to help you find meanings, and perhaps share their own similar experiences and what they made of them. It may be easier to do this given the relative anonymity of forums and comments, rather than shoring them with people you know. Then again, people you know may be the best at drawing meanings since they know you well.
Scary Lucid Dreams: Solutions
Our answer to this concern about scary lucid dreams is two-fold: First, we congratulate the community member for having had a lucid dream! That’s great news, and can only lead to better and longer lucid dreaming experiences. Second we give the advice that to watch passively when you have a scary lucid dream – do not try to move around or do anything. Do not try to excitedly fly away or find helpful characters. Just sit back and passively watch – you know it’s a dream so you will be safe, and try to muffle how scary it is. At the very least, this may turn out to be the most interesting and thought-provoking “movie” you have ever seen.
Lucid dreaming gets easier with practice, and patience is absolutely required if you want to eventually be having longer and more exciting lucid dreams. For now be happy that you are experiencing lucidity and allow for the scary scenario without getting to active and fighting back. Be careful not to have the attitude that lucid dreams will be uncommon and thus you need to take advantage of each one, even those that are scary, and get as much accomplished as possible. Unfortunately this will have a paradoxical effect and mean that you will not have much success getting much done at all! Passivity allows your subconscious to get used to the fact that you are there.
Passivity during scary lucid dreams may feel more scary that doing something about the fear, but it is an investment in your future experiences and success as a lucid dreamer. And since lucid dreaming is all about exploration, you can learn a lot from scary lucid dreams.