Creating a Healthy Dream Space.
Lucid Dreaming and Stopping Bad Dreams.
Sleep should be a restorative, safe and restful time.
Your nights are when you need to be safest and at ease, to be your most vulnerable.
When our sleep is good, our physical and mental health blossom, and the impact on our relationships and quality of life is huge.
We all need that safe, protected, healthy space.
Some people dream differently, they are a minority of dreamers who dream lucidly.
Lucid dreaming technically refers to any occasion when the sleeper is aware they are dreaming.
There are 3 categories of lucid dreams:
1) Influencing the dream story.
Some dreamers can decide how they will act once they are in a dream.
Sometimes this is a beautiful experience.
Flying dreams are one if the top 20 most common dreams.
In a lucid flying dream, one can enjoy the sensation of 'letting go of the earth' and feeling free to fly wherever you'd like to.
Lucid dreaming is also useful if the dreamer has a bad dream.
Ben's Dream Story:
'If I'm in a dream with a bad character, who I knew would hurt me,
a kidnapper or murderer, I think in my dream.
I consciously think that I need to pretend that I'm on his side, then I can be safe and outwit him.
I plan what I'm going to do and this controls the dream story so I can get away.’
2) Deliberately interrupting the dreams yourself.
Ben, a lucid dreamer, decided to wake himself up when he is having a bad dream:
'In the dream, I know I'm dreaming, so I wake myself up by shutting my eyes and squeezing them
really tightly. Then, when I open my eyes, I literally am awake and I see my room.’
3) Needing outside help to stop a dream.
There is a type of lucid dreaming which can feel frightening, where part of the dream includes feeling trapped, unable to move, or paralysed in the dream.
This is particularly unpleasant.
Initially, we looked into interrupting this type of dream for children, when parents asked us to help.
Typically, the dreamer feels locked in the dream, aware they are dreaming but unable to influence events or wake themselves up.
We found 2 ways of helping the children – both ways work just as well with adults, and also work well with those who have no particular world view, although these exercises are rooted in our Christian world view.
‘Sometimes I have a dream where I am aware I am in my bed...and although I'm attacked, I can't move or help myself.
Is there any way I can safely wake myself up mid dream?’
These simple Celtic exercises work well with children and adults.
Jessica frequently had a dream where she felt powerless to do anything to save herself, being held down, held back. In these dreams, we have found that teaching people to ask for help is the most effective way to overcome the feeling of powerlessness and fear.
- Ellis story- feedback
'When I'm in a bad dream, I tried what David suggested. He told me 'You can always say - Jesus wake me up.'
It is so simple, but it works although it only works, so far, with lucid dreamers, who are aware they are dreaming.
A simple ancient Celtic exercise at night.
- preventing bad dreams by creating a time of inner and outer quiet before sleep.
Dreams express that intuitive, creative part of us, which values both freedom and shelter.
1) Find a quiet, private space, a warm bathroom is ideal.
2) Begin by consciously emptying out all the tensions and concerns of the past day and shifting the focus of our attention to God- a loving, caring, strong Higher Power. One who, in this exercise - comes to shelter and protect you.
3) Breathe deeply and slowly,
before and between each section.
Slow your breathing down and say aloud
May God shield me
May God fill me
May God keep me
May God watch me
May God bring me this night to the nearness of His love.
Circle me Lord,
Keep protection near
And danger afar.
Circle me Lord
Keep light near
And darkness afar
Circle me Lord
Keep peace within
Keep evil out
The peace of all peace
Be mine this night
In the name of the Father
And of the son
And of the Holy Spirit