If you experience lucid dreaming, you know that you are fully aware that you are in a dream state while asleep. Lucid dreamers fall asleep with the intention of being conscious that what they are seeing in their dream world is not real.
Lucid dreaming occurs during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, the deepest part of your sleep cycle. People even induce lucid dreaming to deal with anxiety, to solve problems, and to enhance their creativity.
Whether you are an experienced lucid dreamer or not, you may worry about being forever stuck in one of your dreams. But is this even possible?
Can you get stuck in a lucid dream?
The prospect of creating what happens in your dreams is appealing, but one of the biggest concerns people have about lucid dreams is whether or not it is possible to get stuck in them.
The short answer is no. But just as it is possible to get stuck in a dream temporarily, getting stuck in a lucid dream for a short period of time is entirely plausible.
So why do you sometimes feel as if you are stuck in a lucid dream? A TikToker named Shi shared some of the reasons people start feeling stuck in a lucid dream.
Shi first explains that the subconscious is not just in control of the brain — it also directs the nervous system and emotions. So, lucid dreaming is a combination of “words, the nervous system, and your emotional state.”
When you have lucid dreams, your words may be saying “wake up,” but your emotions are also in control of the images you are creating. Then there’s the nervous system sending the conflicting message that you are stuck.
In essence, your conscious mind is telling you that it is time to awaken, but your subconsciousness is sending signals that you are stuck and unable to get out of your dream.
Another theory is that your subconscious mind is keeping you in a dream state because an important message is being communicated to you.
Is lucid dreaming dangerous?
The dangers of lucid dreaming should be considered before you decide to partake. There are several negative side effects related to the practice that can impact you.
One of those is diminished sleep quality, including disrupted sleep. This is due to being awakened by the vivid images in lucid dreams.
Conversely, sleep paralysis can also be a terrifying result of lucid dreaming. That feeling of being unable to move can lead to dream claustrophobia, making you feel like the walls are closing in.
Mental health issues like confusion and hallucinations are also a couple of the risks associated with lucid dreaming. In some cases, the line between dreaming and reality can become blurred.
How to Get Unstuck from a Lucid Dream
It goes without saying that the easiest and quickest way to get unstuck from a lucid dream is to wake up. But obviously, there are times when that doesn’t work.
There is a two-step process that helps you wake up when you feel that you have no escape from a dream that you are supposed to be in total control of.
1. Change the dream location and circumstances.
The first step is to move to a different location in your dream. If you are in the store, move to a house. If you’re sitting at the table, go outside.
Also, adjust the scenario. Instead of being engaged in a conversation, take a quiet walk. Making changes to certain aspects of your dreams sends a message of empowerment to your subconscious mind and help you regain control.
2. Perform the eye wake-up exercise.
No only do your eyes allow others to peek into your soul, they also control your sense of wakefulness. During REM sleep, our bodies are effectively paralyzed with the exception of the eyes.
We can take advantage of this freedom of movement by intentionally moving our eyes in several directions. This tells the consciousness that we are waking up and our body will follow suit.
These eye movements should be done for 20-30 seconds while keeping your eyes closed within the dream. After the time expires, simply open your “dream eyes” and your physical eyes will do the same.
This might be a little confusing as first, but you will adjust quickly and return to your waking life!