Managing Insomnia using Lucid Dreaming Training
Sono & Sonhos
Updated:
July 15, 2024

Managing Insomnia using Lucid Dreaming Training

If you've ever struggled with insomnia, you know it can feel like you're losing your mind. The nightly battle to fall or stay asleep drains you emotionally and destroys your physical health. But what if the solution was simple? What if you could control your dreams for better sleep? Managing insomnia using lucid dreaming therapy could help you leave restless nights behind for good. Giving you the energy to love and live your life again. 

Let’s look at how lucid dreaming can help you get the best night's rest possible.

How lucid dreaming can help

In short, lucid dreaming helps ease insomnia by changing your thoughts and feelings about sleep - so you can have reliably peaceful nights and an improved waking mood.

Lucid dreaming allows you to influence your dream's direction and content while still asleep. If, like many, your insomnia is partially due to recurring nightmares, the power to control your dream content can be profoundly comforting. And even if you cannot stop your negative dreams, your new awareness can reduce the distress caused by them. Helping your mind learn that it is safe to sleep.

To learn more about how lucid dreaming can help nightmares, read our “How to Have Fewer Nightmares: Causes and Practical Tips” blog.

Sometimes, insomnia and sleep disturbance are not the primary issues. For some bad sleepers, insomnia is a comorbid condition to existing anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. By controlling your dreams, you can begin to face and manage your worries in a safe space at your own pace. The control that LDT gives you helps resolve feelings of helplessness and anxiety you associate with sleep—turning bedtime into something fun instead of frustrating.

It can also counter our feeling of a lack of control when we face emotional issues in waking life. As you improve at lucid dreaming and practice overcoming anxiety in your dreams, you become more confident handling anxiety in real life. This improvement in mental health makes LDT a great option for those dealing with insomnia because of emotional issues.

Let's look at some commonly asked questions about managing insomnia using lucid dreaming.

How long till I feel the benefits?

For many, reaping the benefits of lucid dreaming for managing insomnia is gradual. Some notice improvements in their sleep quality within a few weeks, while others may need a few months of diligent practice. The keys are consistency and patience. It's important to stay motivated, so often remind yourself of the long-term benefits of better sleep for your health.

During this learning period, tracking your progress can be very helpful. Keep a journal of your dreams and note any changes in your sleep quality. This can encourage you because you can see any gradual improvements you track. Additionally, analyzing your dreams may help you resolve the root cause of your insomnia for good. With Oniri, you can access a new tool that uses AI and psychological knowledge to help you analyze your dreams. This tool creates custom questions and analyzes your answers to help you reflect and dive deeper.

How do I deal with the common challenges?

As with all things worth doing, lucid dreaming can come with some speedbumps initially.

One common challenge is difficulty remembering dreams. Many techniques, including writing in your dream journal immediately upon waking, can improve dream recall. To make it easy for you, we have a blog for all those techniques here: How To Remember More Dreams.

You may also struggle with maintaining lucidity. For beginners, it can take time, but try to stay calm. Remind yourself to explore your dream environment when asleep. Touching objects or talking to dream characters can help stabilize it. Lucid dreaming is also exciting, and as you achieve lucidity, you may wake up from that excitement. Like all skills, practice will help you have longer and more vivid lucid dreams. Here is the full guide to help you stabilize your lucidity.

While lucid dreaming is generally safe, as an insomniac, there are some points you should pay attention to for you to practice it beneficially.  For example, the Wake Back to Bed (WBTB), and Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD) techniques might disrupt sleep for some people. False awakenings, where you dream that you have woken up but are still asleep, can also happen. To mitigate these risks, practice calming breathwork and mindfulness meditation before sleep. 

Lastly, it's important to approach lucid dreaming with the right mindset. Treat it as a fun and relaxing practice rather than a strict goal to achieve every night. This reduces pressure and helps you enjoy the process. It might not work every night, and that is perfectly okay. Stay patient and persistent - it will all work out in time.

Ready to start lucid dreaming? Here is how. 

If you're interested in trying lucid dreaming as an at-home therapy for insomnia, you must understand the techniques. Reality testing, writing down dreams, and setting strong intentions help you recognize when you are dreaming. For a detailed guide, check out our comprehensive article " How to Lucid Dream: Step-by-Step Guide."

You will also want to ensure access to tools and educational resources to enhance your practice and increase your chances of success. Tools like our Oniri App, are designed to give lucid dreamers more support. We offer features to help you keep a dream journal, analyze your dreams, and start lucid dreaming. We understand that only some people like to write. That's why we offer the ability to record your dream journal, help with dream interpretation, and write educational blogs covering everything on your lucid dreaming journey. 

Experiments from experts in behavioral sleep medicine

We think that mindfully managing insomnia using lucid dreaming helps mainly by reducing the frequency of negative dreams and reframing consciousness at night as an opportunity. It’s also known that lucid dreaming teaches skills to increase self-awareness and cognitive control, which are the same skills you need to help you fall and stay asleep. Despite the research being in its infancy, it's pretty clear that it works really well. Let's discover why.

The study, Managing Insomnia Using Lucid Dreaming Training: A Pilot Study, in the Journal of Behavioral Sleep Medicine, examined how LDT affects insomnia and mood during the day. After a month of training, participants filled out questionnaires about their sleep and mood. The results were not just hopeful; they were scientifically important.

Participants first completed baseline questionnaires measuring insomnia, anxiety, and depression symptoms. They then attended four training sessions over two weeks, learning techniques for lucid dreaming. These techniques included improving dream recall, reality checks, noticing unusual things in dreams, setting intentions, and visualizing lucidity. Then, participants were sent to practice these techniques at home.

One month after the training, participants reported having at least one lucid dream and completed the same questionnaires again. Thirty-seven of the forty-eight participants had at least one lucid dream, while 11 did not.

People who did the lucid dreaming training:

In fact, 25 of the 37 successful lucid dreamers no longer met the criteria for insomnia at the end of the study. While most of those who did not have lucid dreams (10 of 11 participants) still met the criteria for insomnia. Researchers also found that those who did not experience lucid dreams at all had higher anxiety at baseline—suggesting that lucid dream training may not be a standalone treatment for people with comorbid anxiety.

The study suggests that Lucid Dream Therapy (LDT) might be a helpful way to manage insomnia without medication. It's unclear if longer training or more techniques would help even more. While the initial results are good, we need more research to see just how well lucid dreaming can work as an alternative insomnia treatment.

Conclusion

Insomnia can be debilitating, but new ideas like managing insomnia using lucid dreaming give us hope. By incorporating lucid dreaming techniques into your routine, you can take control of your sleep experience. Before sleep, set intentions to manage anxiety. During sleep, control your dream content for a more peaceful experience, and after sleep enjoy the benefits of rejuvenating rest. As more people learn about it, lucid dreaming could become a well-known way to fight insomnia, helping many find relief.

If you're ready to try lucid dreaming to ease your insomnia, download the Oniri App today and let us help you achieve sweet dreams.   

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