Category Archives: Sleep

Dream Research Project

So I am currently recruiting participants for my research project related to dreams. It is a study involving unusual experiences occurring somewhere between waking and dreaming. More information can be found on my Dream Research Project page. I have had multiple experiences that fall into this category, one of which I have written about here.

Dreams have always seemed to fascinate me. The fact that we can live a completely different life while we are sleeping, how sometimes, I cannot seem to distinguish whether what I remember happened while I was awake or asleep, and whether or not it matters.

My dad and I have had discussions about fictional characters and how we sometimes know more about them, than about the the author of the books in which they appear. Sherlock Holmes, for instance, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Is Sherlock Holmes really any less real simply because he is fictional? It depends, I suppose, on your definition of reality. We know so much more about him than we do about Doyle who we assume was a “real” person.

In any case, this research project involves examining various worldviews and exploring how these liminal experiences can influence or change our ways of thinking about the world around us.


More Lucid Dream Strangeness….a singsong voice said “You’re still dreaming…”

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Just had more lucid dream strangeness. I was on a balcony where I had just been, but the street had changed and I realized I was dreaming so I jumped off the balcony and started to fly. I asked the dream to take me somewhere and I ended up in this room with red/burgundy couches and all the doors were closed. I opened one and there were about 5 or 6 people sitting in chairs, kind of like a classroom. They all stood up when I came in. I recognized my mom as one of them. It was when she was younger maybe still in school. I think it was around the time that Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. So I went up to her and told her that I was her daughter, her future daughter and she hugged me. I told her I hadn’t seen her in 17 years. She looked at me and told her friends “she does look kind of like me doesn’t she?” Then the dream ended and I woke up. I looked at my cell phone and started to look at my messages, and noticed that they seemed strange, I couldn’t remember half of them, and then I found a picture on my phone of the room with the red couches from my dream. I heard this strange almost twilight zone type music and a singsong voice said “you’re still dreaming…” and I was whisked away again, this time to the apartment where I grew up. As I walked by my parents bedroom I saw two shadowy figures look at me, one of them waved. I continued to walk down the hallway, looked in the other bedroom, then the dining room and kitchen. I tried to look at the clock but it was kind of blurry. As my attention would shift from one room to the next, each room would change, the furniture, the decor, so that every time I looked at each room it looked different. I think I decided to take a picture of one, and this man appeared, he said he wanted to make it look believable for the picture. I asked “Who are you” and he said “The director”. I followed him thorough this hidden doorway to what looked like a movie set, but he would not say more. I then remember my attention shifting back to my body in bed which I could feel, but felt as if I was in a deep meditative state. It felt as if I was just awake meditating and thinking, I was aware of my breathing, my cat sleeping on the pillow above my head, I felt her tail brush against my face. I started to wonder if maybe lucid dreaming isn’t really sleeping at all, maybe it’s something in between dreaming and meditating. In this dream state, I felt it was less fragile than lucid dreams I have had in the past. I wonder if it is possible that I could have traveled back in time in my dream and visited her…


DreamSpaces & Lucid Dreaming

I’ve been thinking a lot about vector spaces lately…most likely due to the fact that I’m taking an linear algebra class and that’s what we’re currently learning. I must have learned about them before when I tried to take this class as an undergrad, but it seems to make more sense now. Anyway, vector spaces have even been invading my dreams, which got me thinking about dreams, which is not unusual since they are what I am studying. And no please don’t ask me to interpret yours…while I do maintain that they provide us with insights and guidance and can help us uncover unconscious material, my main interest is in why we dream and what they are. So back to vector spaces, this thought occurred to me earlier today: what if the dreamspace is a vector space. We all know that in dreams, different rules seem to apply, such that the normal rules of physics, such as gravity, etc., are no longer standard. Sometimes we fly, we walk through doorways into the past, the future, seem to travel instantaneously, etc.  Which makes me wonder if there are any rules in the dream world…. Also is there such a thing as “the” dream world, or does each one of us have our own different dream world? There are times where I feel like I have a completely different dream life, a familiarity like I’m remembering having lived there before.

Recently, there was an article published in Nature Neuroscience http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nn.3719.html that showed scientists were able to induce lucid dreaming, which is where one is aware they are dreaming within the dream, by inducing gamma waves (25-100 Hz), which have been observed during spontaneous lucid dreams, in the brain using an electrical current. This is extremely interesting because we may now have a way to study dreams and experiment with them in a more systematic way than finding people who are able to do it spontaneously or inducing them with various drugs.  So back to my idea about vector spaces and the dream world. We could possibly test whether there are limits in the dream world, if there are fundamental rules that are just different from the ones we know in the waking world, or maybe they’re aren’t and anything is possible. Are there limits to how much control we have?

But then, this introduces the question of whether the lucid dream state is different from the regular dream state… As well as what actually causes spontaneous lucid dreams? It happened once when I woke up from an interesting dream and tried to go back into it, and when I did, I knew I was in the dream again. There was another time when I knew I was dreaming and wanted to wake up, but couldn’t….every time I tried to open my eyes, I would be in a different dream scenario…

Anyway, just some thoughts, possibly future research ideas, but for now I’m going to focus on my first question of why we dream and I have my own hypothesis, but more on that later when I actually start working on my thesis…