Mindful Caffeination?

Every night for weeks I’ve been having bad dreams, and they seem to be getting more frequent and vivid. Nights filled with scenes of war, disease, pain. Watching loved ones suffer only to find myself paralyzed and unable to help. So many friends and family members have died in my arms in dreams, I can’t even recall them all. And it’s not some epic story line, but just snippets. Just the moment of dream torture and then it cuts off and starts the next. 

I can’t get away from them and so try to sleep as little as possible. I know it’s not healthy but I can’t seem to become lucid in the dreams so don’t know what else to do. I am coping well outside of sleep though. Meditating a bit, listening to music, spending time doing crafts with the kids, breathing and releasing the pressure when I start to panic. But I can’t bring myself to do these things in my sleep.

Today was a more panicky day and I had some moments of hiding at work. Today I couldn’t bring myself to meditate, my mind just couldn’t for some reason. I was so exhausted so I sat in half lotus and sipped my coffee. I needed the caffeine, I needed the break. It might not help the mind long term like mindful meditation does, but it helped me get through the day. And now I can hide at home where I feel safer and more at ease. Though I am still drinking coffee, cause lord knows I don’t much want to sleep.

Late night coffee


Finally back on all my meds, though my momentary dark phase hit before running out for a few days so the meds are certainly not an instant fix. However they put the mask back on so I can get through my days. I haven’t been posting much as I am mentally exhausted to the point of physically exhausted and have been all week. 

The exhaustion is making my dreams come through weird again and giving me zero control over them, so I am now waking up just as exhausted as when I went to bed. So tonight I drank coffee, a lot of coffee, and am staying up as late as possible. Not healthy, I know. I can hear my therapist in my head “you need to be getting sleep. It is important.” I know. But sometimes, well often times, sleep is worse than wake. I can’t control my mind during sleep. I don’t have my rubber bands to remind me to not be judgmental. I don’t have my husband to comfort me or make me laugh, usually in my dreams he is away for some reason, my mind leaves me to fend for myself. I don’t have control over my actions which is why I smoke in my dreams though I never have in real life, I drink more in my dreams, I fall silent in my dreams nearly forgetting how to speak. These are only the things I can put into words while awake because they are “normal”. My mind goes far worse, but I can’t open up on that because my mind should not be capable of that type of… scenarios I guess is the only way to put it. My mind needs my control so the monster doesn’t appear. During sleep I loose that control. 

I don’t have a normal weekend coffee date in me. For that I am sorry. But I take comfort in the idea that you may be out there. That I’m not alone in my self imposed insomnia. And tomorrow I shall start new.

I will know that I am dreaming and I will take control

You may or may not remember, but a few months ago I was talking about my attempts at lucid dreaming (or as I call it, mindful dreaming). Well, I haven’t spoken of it since then, but only because their was nothing to report. I have continued working towards this goal but as my mental state was fluctuating it was not happening. Well now it is, kind of.


Every night I go to bed mental focused on the statement “I will know that I am dreaming, and I will take control.” This along with my practicing a dream test (trying to push my hand through a solid object) are my main techniques to try to become aware within my dreams. 

Over the last week I have been dreaming that I am lucid dreaming. So like my dream self would fall asleep in the dream and have a lucid dream. It sounds weirder than it feels lol. But last night I got a step closer. I woke up in the middle of the night and recognized that I was mid-dream and likely to continue it if I fell right back to sleep, so I began to focus on my statement as I fell back to sleep.

Shortly within this dream I recognized it for what it was. I was not aware enough to control my environment, but still enough to consciously make my own decisions within the scenario playing out. Definitely a step in the right direction and I look forward to continuing this practice.

Mindful Dreaming – You got it backwards stupid brain

For the last 7 years I’ve gotten random episodes of sleep paralysis. What typically happens is I wake up too suddenly and am caught halfway between dream and reality. I lie there unable to move or speak, feeling like I’m weighted down into the mattress. It scares the shit out of my husband when I describe it as he is a believer in Old Hag Syndrome. I personally don’t believe in the Old Hag because brains are jerks. So I have no doubt numerous people’s brains would pull a Hag out of childhood horror stories and use her to scare you more when your already trapped. I probably never see her cause I’m more scared of being trapped with my brain than with a Hag trying to kill me. That probably sounds crazy, but let’s face it if you wanted sane you probably shouldn’t be reading my blog lol.

Anyhoo, sleep paralysis doesn’t bother me. I just find something that I am certain is reality rather than dream and focus on it fully until my brain and body connect and I can move again. So yesterday I was taking a nap on the couch (I’m sick btw) and in my dream my husband was asking for something. He said “Babe? Did you find it?” and then I woke up with sleep paralysis and heard him call out “Babe?” So I focused on a picture on the wall, got my body awake, and walked into the room. “Did you call me?” “No”. Great, his voice outside of the dream was still part of the dream. Argh! Got up for nothing!

For the most part this was nothing overly different than any other time this has happened, except for one fact. It only took a minute for me to wake up my body. On average it takes 5-15 minutes to pull myself out of the paralysis. The last time I had this happen while sick I got trapped in this state for almost 2 hours. So to pull myself out so extremely fast was wonderful!

There could be a variety of reasons for this, but I have a feeling that my attempts at lucid dreaming have something to do with it. I am working to be so actively aware of my surroundings in an effort to distinguish between dream and wake. So my brain was likely better to focus easier to pull me out. So while my brain got it backwards bringing dream into reality instead of reality into dream, I still think it’s a step in the right direction. What do you think? Also, do you agree with me or hubby about the Old Hag?

 

Mindful Dreaming – Pushing my hand through a wall

One of the main techniques in lucid dreaming is to have a dream “test”. Something you do to find out whether or not you are in a dream. Do it frequently while awake to build the habit and train your mind to consistently wonder “is this a dream?” 

I decided to try to press my hand through a solid object as my test. The idea being that within a dream the solid object should begin to loosen and bend allowing my hand to press in or through. I have begun doing this as frequently as I can remember throughout the day, though really not as frequently as I should. But as I do so I have begun to really concentrate on it. Can I make this surface less solid? Is this a dream? Does anything around me feel or appear unusual?

One thing I recently learned in my research is that you should actually do this twice in a row. Sometimes in a dream it may not work the first time, but trying again may make you more mindful, more aware, and then you will succeed in your test. So the last couple of days I have made it a point to do it twice in a row.

Hopefully tonight I can press my hand through a wall. But if not it’s okay. This takes patience. My dreams will become lucid in time.

Mindful Dreaming – First Steps in my Journey 


As mentioned yesterday, I want to go to my meditation spot in my dreams. My spot is a large field with no building or houses in site. It is dusk, the stars are coming out, and there is nothing to block the view. I sit on the ground and feel myself sink gently into the grass and slightly loose dirt. I am grounded. I am stable. I am at peace.

I can’t always get there. I go through phases where I can’t visualize and have to switch to guided meditations. I’m in one of those phases now. But I have heard that meditating to different sound waves can help with many things, including lucid dreaming. So when I’m not overly anxious I meditate simply to theta waves.

I prefer theta waves because they balance my heart, throat, and third eye chakras like nothing I’ve tried before. It calms my body and focuses my mind in just 15-20 minutes. I am trying to do this more frequently as it is a strong step toward lucid dreaming and I hope will also prepare my mind to find my field once I take control of my dream.

Do you have a happy place? A spot? Somewhere your mind goes when you meditate?

Why I want to have lucid dreams

I’ve mentioned before that I have extremely vivid dreams. They are exhausting and often frightening. So I finally decided to take control. I began to research lucid dreaming, and what I found most interesting is that lucid dreaming can be used to better communicate with your inner self. You can call out things like “show me something funny” or “give me some confidence”. This is what I want.

Primarily my goal is to bring myself to my meditation spot. There is a place I visualize when meditating and I want to go there in my dreams. I want to sit in that spot and call out to the sky “bring me a sense of peace”. 

I described this to my therapist. She had not looked into this before, so it was new information to her. But she is the one teaching me mindful meditation and said it sounds like mindful dreaming. I like that description “mindful dreaming” as that is exactly what I want to do.

I was making progress before put on an anti anxiety, so I went off my anti anxiety a few days ago (with my psychiatrists permission. Do not adjust meds without first speaking to your doctor!) and am starting the process again. I’ll start sharing what I’m doing and if it’s working. If you want to see some of the research I’ve done I posted a link below. 


http://www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com/