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Carl Fredrik Ahl

Lucid Dreaming Reality Checks Don't Work

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Hi,

I started lucid dreaming a few months ago. I got my first 3 lucid dreams on 1 night without using reality checks, but then I started to do it. The first time I tried it I tried to push my finger through my palm in my dream, which DIDN'T work, right after that I pinched my nose and tried to breathe, which DID work so I became lucid. 

This month I have done 5 reality checks in total in my dreams and it didn't work anytime :(. 

When I'm awake and do my reality checks I do it in this order: Looking around and see if I can see anything unusual. Looking at the time 3 times and see if it changes. Try to do telekinesis. Pinch my nose and try to breathe 3 times. I always expect that I'm going to be able to breathe.  Then I think about what I have done today, what I'm doing right now and what I will do later. In my dreams, the only thing I will do is pinch my nose and try to breathe which don't work now for some reason. I don't do the other things and I don't know why.

What could I do to make my reality checks work? Should I do my reality checks in another way, or do something additional? Am I doing anything wrong?

 

Edited by Carl Fredrik Ahl

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What is a "reality check"? Is this an attempt to tell if you are awake or dreaming?

Isn't it obvious that you are dreaming? It's not like reality, is it.

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If you ask yourself, "Is this a dream?" , then it is a dream, reality check complete.  I doubt any sane person mistakes reality for a dream.

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24 minutes ago, Strange said:

What is a "reality check"? Is this an attempt to tell if you are awake or dreaming?

Isn't it obvious that you are dreaming? It's not like reality, is it.

Yes, it is to know if you're dreaming or not.

No, lucid dreaming feels just like, or very much like reality. The part in the brain responsible for logical thinking doesn't work so good often while dreaming.

19 minutes ago, Bufofrog said:

If you ask yourself, "Is this a dream?" , then it is a dream, reality check complete.  I doubt any sane person mistakes reality for a dream.

It's not that simple. 

It's not about mistaken reality for a dream, it's the reverse. Plz learn more about the subject before answering. This topic is about neuroscience as well.

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6 minutes ago, Carl Fredrik Ahl said:

No, lucid dreaming feels just like, or very much like reality.

 

If you are not certain that you are dreaming, then it is not a lucid dream. Can you control the dream - what happens next or rerun bits with different outcomes, etc? If so then (a) it is a lucid dream and (b) it is obvious you are dreaming (because you can't do those things in reality).

First sentence from the description in Wikipedia:

Quote

A lucid dream is a dream during which the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucid_dream

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26 minutes ago, Carl Fredrik Ahl said:

It's not about mistaken reality for a dream, it's the reverse. Plz learn more about the subject before answering. This topic is about neuroscience as well

That's the point, if you feel the need to test if it's a dream then it's a dream, no further test required.  I have experienced lucid dreaming, I think that is sufficient knowledge on the subject.  You haven't discussed neuroscience that I have seen.

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1 hour ago, Carl Fredrik Ahl said:

What could I do to make my reality checks work? Should I do my reality checks in another way, or do something additional? Am I doing anything wrong?

Lucid dreaming is a subtle skill, one that can take years to hone. I'd recommend just relaxing and enjoying the experience. Do something you'd enjoy, go for a fly or something. Pushing your finger through your palm sounds boring anyway. Don't try to force things.

May i ask why you feel need to test at all. Do you find yourself asking those questions when you are awake? Questioning reality can be a bad habit to practice, especially for people at risk of dissociation type mental health disorders.

There isn't much of a science of lucid dreaming, but there is a literature based on personal experiences, you might be better off asking these questions on a lucid dreaming forum.

 

1 hour ago, Bufofrog said:

If you ask yourself, "Is this a dream?" , then it is a dream, reality check complete.  I doubt any sane person mistakes reality for a dream.

This is true of a sane person awake. But the question doesn't work so well during lucid dreaming. I've been lucid dreaming and experiencing false awakenings for decades and i'm still sometimes be unable to answer the question. Except when i'm awake, thankfully. You'd think that having any doubt at all would be enough to confirm i'm in a dream, but the somnescent brain (at least my brain) doesn't operate just as if its awake. 

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47 minutes ago, Strange said:

 

If you are not certain that you are dreaming, then it is not a lucid dream. Can you control the dream - what happens next or rerun bits with different outcomes, etc? If so then (a) it is a lucid dream and (b) it is obvious you are dreaming (because you can't do those things in reality).

First sentence from the description in Wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucid_dream

I know what a lucid dream is. What I wonder is how and why my reality checks won't work which would otherwise acknowledge me that I'm dreaming so that it would be a lucid dream.

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Just now, Carl Fredrik Ahl said:

I know what a lucid dream is. What I wonder is how and why my reality checks won't work which would otherwise acknowledge me that I'm dreaming so that it would be a lucid dream.

You should have a large amount of control in a lucid dream. So if your tests don't work it is because you don't want them to.

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You could try looking at a bright light bulb. In a lucid dream it always looks dim to me. I suspect it's because I can't create the physiological effects of a bright light.

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My experience is much more a recognition that I'm dreaming and how I can relax and enjoy the dream, sometimes I can control it but why would I want to.

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1 hour ago, Bufofrog said:

That's the point, if you feel the need to test if it's a dream then it's a dream, no further test required.  I have experienced lucid dreaming, I think that is sufficient knowledge on the subject.  You haven't discussed neuroscience that I have seen.

Thx for the answer , but I don't understand.

You are right, I didn't discuss anything about neuroscience. I shouldn't have said that, I just wanted to make clear that this is a complicated topic that require knowledge about how dreams works, which have to do with neuroscience and the unconscious mind. 

46 minutes ago, Prometheus said:

Do something you'd enjoy, go for a fly or something. Pushing your finger through your palm sounds boring anyway. Don't try to force things.

May i ask why you feel need to test at all. Do you find yourself asking those questions when you are awake? Questioning reality can be a bad habit to practice, especially for people at risk of dissociation type mental health disorders.

Well, to do those things you have to know that you are dreaming, hence doing the reality checks. Just watch some lucid dreamers on YouTube and EVERYONE will recommend doing reality checks. Some of them even say you should do it as often as 25-30 (or even more) times a day. I do it about 15 times a day. 

I have tried flying in one of my lucid dreams, it was really fun :)

33 minutes ago, Strange said:

You should have a large amount of control in a lucid dream. So if your tests don't work it is because you don't want them to.

Yeah you have a large amount of control when you are lucid, because you know that it is a dream and you can do almost what ever you want to do. What do you mean I don't want my tests to work? Why would I otherwise start this topic in the first place? Do you mean that I unconsciously don't want them to work? If so, in what way could that be?

29 minutes ago, Carrock said:

You could try looking at a bright light bulb. In a lucid dream it always looks dim to me. I suspect it's because I can't create the physiological effects of a bright light.

That's a good idea, thank you. I will try that. So I could use the flashlight on my phone for instance? 

Edited by Carl Fredrik Ahl

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8 minutes ago, Carl Fredrik Ahl said:

I just wanted to make clear that this is a complicated topic that require knowledge about how dreams works, which have to do with neuroscience and the unconscious mind. 

That's a different question.

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21 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

My experience is much more a recognition that I'm dreaming and how I can relax and enjoy the dream, sometimes I can control it but why would I want to.

The first time that I had lucid dreams, I also just recognized that I was dreaming. So you don't do any reality checks? How often are you lucid and what technique do you use, or does it just happen to you without you trying?

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13 minutes ago, Carl Fredrik Ahl said:

That's a good idea, thank you. I will try that. So I could use the flashlight on my phone for instance? 

Possibly. Never tried that. I think it would have to be bright enough to cause pupil contraction and perhaps be too bright to look at without discomfort.

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12 minutes ago, Carl Fredrik Ahl said:

The first time that I had lucid dreams, I also just recognized that I was dreaming. So you don't do any reality checks? How often are you lucid and what technique do you use, or does it just happen to you without you trying?

how do you recognise reality?

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1 hour ago, Carl Fredrik Ahl said:

That's a good idea, thank you. I will try that. So I could use the flashlight on my phone for instance? 

You could. Or you could create a light out of nowhere. Two reality checks for the price of one.

1 hour ago, Carl Fredrik Ahl said:

The first time that I had lucid dreams, I also just recognized that I was dreaming. So you don't do any reality checks? How often are you lucid and what technique do you use, or does it just happen to you without you trying?

Personally, I can't remember the last time I dreamt and it wasn't a lucid dream. (Or, more accurately, if I am awake enough to remember a dream, I was awake enough to be aware I was dreaming.)

1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

how do you recognise reality?

I'm not sure I do.

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4 hours ago, Bufofrog said:

If you ask yourself, "Is this a dream?" , then it is a dream, reality check complete.  I doubt any sane person mistakes reality for a dream.

I doubt that you are qualified to say who is sane.

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19 hours ago, dimreepr said:

how do you recognise reality?

I had just watched a movie about lucid dreaming and told my self the day before "I'm going to be lucid in my next dream". I still tell myself that (MILD technique), but it haven't worked since that. I have to do reality checks now instead and I tell my self now "I'm going to to a reality check in my next dream" everyday instead.

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I just recognise repetition in my dreams. Its not real, thats the point. 

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23 hours ago, Bufofrog said:

If you ask yourself, "Is this a dream?"..

..I am asking this question almost every day seeing what stupid politicians, or ordinary people, did that day... ;)

 

Edited by Sensei

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31 minutes ago, Sensei said:

..I am asking this question almost every day seeing what stupid politicians, or ordinary people, did that day... ;)

 

repetition... :rolleyes:

the dark side of groundhog day...

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3 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

repetition... :rolleyes:

the dark side of groundhog day...

Just restart of the Universe with new random seed.. ;)

 

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7 minutes ago, Sensei said:

Just restart of the Universe with new random seed.. ;)

 

we can dream. :P

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57 minutes ago, Sensei said:

..I am asking this question almost every day seeing what stupid politicians, or ordinary people, did that day... ;)

 

That's funny, but let's keep it to the subject plz. I really want useful tips.

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