Can You Get Stuck in a Lucid Dream?
Lucid Dreams​
September 22, 2022
Updated:
May 17, 2023

Can You Get Stuck in a Lucid Dream?

A common fear about lucid dreams is that you could get stuck inside them. This belief may come from the movie Inception —we won't say more to avoid spoils. But can you really get stuck in a dream?

Dangers of lucid dreaming

Many people who are new to lucid dreaming worry about the safety of lucid dreams and worry about the possibility of getting stuck in the dream. However, you can rest easy knowing that lucid dreaming is completely natural and safe. You are still getting REM sleep and going through the normal phases of sleep just as your normally would if you were not having lucid dreams. You will still be able to wake up as usual, and write down your dreams, even if it feels like a very, very long dream!

It is possible to get the sensation that you are stuck in a lucid dream, if you have many dreams back-to-back, or try to go back to your body and keep waking up into a new dream. However, you will always wake up, so you are never actually stuck. If you find yourself in a situation that you cannot control, it is important to remember that it is only a dream. Even if you temporarily feel stuck, try to remember that it is just an illusion, and you will soon be awake. Since you are in fact aware of the state you are experiencing, you are technically in a lucid dream. This means that you can change the dream to something more enjoyable, and stay in the dream instead of trying to wake yourself up.

If you want to wake yourself up from within a dream, try to wiggle your finger and toes. Focus on your bedroom and try to feel your sheets on your body. This will help guide your mind back to your sleeping body and away from the dream. Most importantly, stay calm and try not to give into fear. Dreams are a thought-responsive environment, which means the content is many times driven by our emotions and thoughts. When we are scared and panicking, it may make it harder for us to exit the dream. 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.

How to prevent getting stuck in a lucid dream?

There are a few things you can do to prevent getting stuck in a lucid dream. First, it is important to set an intention before you go to sleep. This will help you to focus on what you want to achieve in your dream. Second, it is important to have an exit strategy. This means having a plan for how you will wake yourself up if you find yourself in a situation that you cannot control or enjoy. Finally, it is important to practice lucid dreaming regularly. This will help you to become more skilled at it and will also help you to remember that it is only a dream if you start to get scared or find yourself in a nightmare.

When you feel that you have no escape from a dream:

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.

Perform the eye wake-up exercise.

Your eyes 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 while sleeping. 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!

False awakenings & sleep paralysis can sometimes feel like you are stuck in the dream state. False awakenings are very realistic, and sometimes confusing because of how closely they resemble waking life. A false awakening is a convincing dream state in which the dreamer believes they have woken up and started their day when in reality they are still asleep. False awakenings can be nested or looping, which is a confusing period of back-to-back false awakenings, sometimes even up to 10 times or more without knowing which time they are actually awake.

A false awakening is a convincing dream state in which the dreamer believes they have woken up and started their day when in reality they are still asleep. False awakenings can be nested or looping, which is a confusing period of back-to-back false awakenings, sometimes even up to 10 times or more without knowing which time they are actually awake. A false awakening is a convincing dream state in which the dreamer believes they have woken up and started their day when in reality they are still asleep. False awakenings can be nested or looping, which is a confusing period of back-to-back false awakenings, sometimes even up to 10 times or more without knowing which time they are actually awake. With practice you can overcome and control this, and you can even learn to turn it into an awesome lucid dream, or OBE (Out-of-body-experience).

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