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Is it dangerous to lucid dream? The short answer is no.
Lucid dreaming it’s not dangerous. Some people might believe it is if they had a bad experience, they couldn’t reach the control they wanted to, or they had a lucid nightmare or sleep paralysis.
Although this may be true, lucid dreaming still remains safe.
HOWEVER… there are some small lucid dreaming risks to consider.
Generally speaking, almost anything in this world can turn out dangerous, if we overdo it or if we take extreme measures.
Imagine if someone wants to lose weight tries so hard that he ends up suffering from anorexia or some other eating disorder.
Or someone who wishes to be very healthy, start to overexercise and end up feeling fatigued, tired, or even insomnia sufferer. I assume you get the point.
In the same manner, lucid dreaming is generally safe, but it is important to mention some possible lucid dreaming dangers that are connected to it.
Lucid dreaming is a practice, going on for thousands of years, done by Buddhists, and monks, but is it entirely safe and can lucid dreams be scary?
Let’s jump right in some often questions, that a lot of beginners and lucid dreamers are wondering:
Can you die in real life from a dream?
Can lucid dreaming kill you?
Are lucid dreams dangerous?
Can you get stuck in a lucid dream?
Is lucid dreaming addictive?
Are lucid dreams tiring?
Can you have a lucid nightmare?
FINAL THOUGHTS: The risks of lucid dreaming
1. Can you die in real life from a dream?
Dying in a dream is something that a lot of people are worried about.
But don’t worry, because one thing is certain – you won’t die in real life if you die inside a lucid dream. That’s for sure.
The possible outcomes are – you might wake up in your bed, or inside of another dream.
2. Can lucid dreaming kill you? Can you die in real life from a lucid dream?
It’s surely possible to die in your sleep or inside of a dream, however, to be killed by a (lucid) dream in the real life — not really.
Honestly, there is really no evidence that a lucid dream can kill you.
The thing is, it cannot be proven on 100%.
Also, it might be a bit hard to be proven, since, if someone dies as a result of lucid dreaming, we have no way of knowing that.
If there was a case, where someone died from a lucid dream, there is no way of knowing it, since the person won’t be able to tell us about it.
Plus, it hasn’t been documented any scientific research that can confirm undoubtedly.
Many people are reporting that they have dreams in which they are dying.
Given that and for all we know ”If you die in a dream you will die in the real-life” is just a myth.
Cuz here comes the question: how can you actually die for real while being aware of the fact that you are in a dream – meaning, that it is only in your head?
3. Are lucid dreams dangerous?
Overall, lucid dreams are not dangerous.
However, like almost anything in this world, there are some small risks, that you might take into consideration, including:
• Experiencing realistic feelings such as sadness, pain, anxiety
Negative feelings like that can occur in a dream state, exactly like in our daily life.
The thing is that if you are a beginner, you will be aware that you are dreaming, but controlling the dream might be still a bit hard.
So, you won’t have full control over it, which might end up in not the best lucid experience.
• Difficult to recognize what is real and what is a dream
You might get confused about whether a given memory was a dream or it really happens. This is not common, however, it is a possible experience.
If you are afraid that you can have difficulties to tell the difference between dreams and reality, the best thing you can do is to have a dream journal.
Writing your dreams down can always remind if something happened in your dream or in the reality.
• Using lucid dreams as a form of escapism
Escapism is intentional detachment and distraction from the real world.
If you use lucid dreaming to escape from the real world, can’t harm you. However, if you are doing it too much, it can be harmful to your productivity and personal growth.
Escapism is healthy if it is used in the norms.
Actually, without it, the stress of the everyday life could drain you out pretty fast.
The only thing you should be careful if you use lucid dreaming to escape the reality and enjoy yourself is simply not letting it go too far.
Otherwise, you might end up dissatisfied with your real life, and to literally start living only in your dreams, by putting all of your energy and goals towards the fantasy world in your head.
• Can lucid dreaming lead to sleep paralysis?
Sleep paralysis is actually a normal and natural process. It happens every night to keep us from acting out our dreams.
Let’s be clear about something – lucid dreaming itself doesn’t cause sleep paralysis!
Honestly, it is mostly about the person and his sleeping/living habits – it often occurs during periods of sleep deprivation and stress/anxiety.
However, some lucid dreaming methods may cause sleep paralysis.
Let’s go through them, very quickly:
Dream Initiated Lucid Dreams (DILD): they shouldn’t involve sleep paralysis
Wake Initiated Lucid Dreams (WILD): this is the one that often involves sleep paralysis, but it is also a very effective way of becoming lucid
(it keeps your consciousness awake while your body is falling asleep)
Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD): shouldn’t involve sleep paralysis except if you are doing it wrong
Finger Induced Lucid Dreams (FILD): there is a chance that this method causes sleep paralysis
4. Can you get stuck in a lucid dream?
Being trapped in a dream forever is simply science fiction, possible in the movies.
Becoming lucid in a dream, whereafter you are unable to manipulate or wake up from – in other words, feeling stuck in a dream is something that you shouldn’t really worry about.
This concern of some people is unnecessary since those dreams aren’t that different from normal dreams—they’re just much more vivid.
The truth is that by becoming better at lucid dreaming, you can even wake up on demand.
It may not work completely always, but by closing your opened, dream eyes and while saying “WAKE UP!”, should end up in awakening.
5. Is lucid dreaming addictive?
Lucid dreams are not addictive.
Let me explain.
It is NOT addictive since the familiar side effects of addictions such as drugs and alcohol are addictive cravings, physical abandonment pain, need of frequent injections, chemical or mental stimulus, etc.
With that said, if you stop to lucid dream, you will get neither the uncontrollable psychological desire or the irrepressible addictive need.
Undoubtedly lucid dreaming is highly enjoyable, and you will want to do it more, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to live without it.
Lucid dreaming is more of an actual hobby. It is exciting, and you will definitely crave to keep having lucid dreams.
But, that won’t make you a lucid dreaming addict, unless you start sleeping for half of your days or even more, in order to experience lucid dreaming. THAT might be definitely dangerous.
6. Are lucid dreams tiring?
Usually, feeling tired after you wake up is due to the fact that you didn’t have enough sleep. As a matter of fact, some people report that when they lucid dream, they feel tired in the morning.
Imagine that: you lucid dream that you are flying around, running, exploring, etc.
The fact that our muscles are paralyzed while we sleep, as well as the whole thing is all is in our mind, makes the physical energy exhaustion not quite logical.
But what about mentally exhausting?
It is possible that if you have long, multiple, very vivid and active non-lucid dreams you would wake up drained.
Especially if they are emotional or anxiety-producing dreams.
The thing is that if you LUCID dream, and you are able to control it, you will do pleasurable things and the chances to experience emotionally anxiety producing dreams is small.
But if you are still not able to control the dream, it is also possible to experience emotionally draining dreams, even when you are lucid.
Another aspect is that some lucid dreaming techniques require waking up during the night and performing them.
The effort to experience a lucid dream can cause tiredness, so if you decide to use some of these methods, use them carefully.
If you sleep less than 7 hours, you might suffer from sleep deprivation, which makes these types of techniques, not the best option.
The last point is the so-called “perma-lucid dreamers” or natural lucid dreamers. They are people who dream consciously every night, and they assume that everyone does it.
You might think that is something amazing and it is a truly a gift.
However, some of them reported that often complain of feeling tired and overwhelmed.
This is due to the fact that they lucid dream every night, they can’t rest properly because they cannot simply turn off their minds at night.
Unfortunately, this is an under-researched topic so there are not any scientifically proven answer.
So, finally, it all adds up to this: yes, the types of lucid or non-lucid dreams that are full of emotional energy, confusing and psychologically disturbing, might be tiring and exhausting.
7. Can you have a lucid nightmare?
It is possible to experience a lucid nightmare, however, the positive good news is that lucid nightmares are really unusual to happen.
Most of the lucid dreamers are not coming across any terror at all.
The thing is that, often, if we shift a lucid dream into a nightmare, we lose awareness and control, even if had it before.
Similar to any nightmares, the chances to experience it is higher in the moments where you’re particularly stressed.
Also, if you have experienced a trauma of any kind, you might also find yourself in lucid nightmares.
However, this is on the other side – you shouldn’t be lucid before the nightmare.
When it happens, the possibly unrealistic and fantastic events might spark lucidity, which will help you to actually overcome the nightmare.
8. FINAL THOUGHTS: The risks of lucid dreaming
All of these lucid dreaming dangers are still very unlikely to occur, however, they are possible.
But, especially if you are in a good health mental state, being aware of all of the ”risks”, you should be fine.
The fact that you are HERE right now, reading these dangers, means that you will be completely prepared.
If it happens that you run into some of them, you will at least know to either take a break, to learn more about it in order to avoid some mistakes, to try a new method, etc.
Lucid dreaming is not scary at all. The risks that are mentioned are overall nothing to worry about.
Though, if you experience some of them, multiple times, perhaps you should try to find out what is the reason behind and to stop for a while.
Now, you should be calm and relaxed, knowing that all the ”bad stuff” that can happen due to lucid dreams are not that scary.