Once, in Kindergarten, I had my first lucid dream. Being so young, it was amazing suddenly having complete control of my dream, having brought my conscious self into a subconscious world.
I don’t remember much about the dream specifically, but it sprouted into a curiosity of great potential. Many people claim they learn a lot through their dreams. A dream may have the potential to answer questions that bother some people on a daily basis, or have potential to generate new ideas/creations.
Lucid dreaming is that, but one step higher.
It’s the ability to control what you get. I like to think of it as an opportunity to learn about myself. Imagine creating a room and sitting down across from an exact copy of yourself. You could literally ask your subconscious self any question, and hopefully receive an answer. Every day we try to hide from the truth, mask our emotions/thoughts, and create a fog over rational thinking.
The reason I think lucid dreaming could be a powerful nootropic is because it could be exactly what one needs to make great progress in their waking lives. While this isn’t a typical “cognitive enhancer”, I still think that what people try to achieve through supplementation could be achieved through dreaming.
Many use lucid dreaming as a playground, relieving stress, and becoming infinitely creative. People take nootropics for the same reason, which is why I believe that lucid dreaming is entirely underrated. Because lucid dreaming is immensely difficult to achieve, there are steps that help people achieve this conscious state:
- Remember your dreams on a nightly basis: Many of us have a hard time remembering our dreams after we wake up, or claim we didn’t dream that night. As it turns out, we dream most night, but sometimes we just don’t remember it. This is known as recall memory. A good way to achieve this is to think back 20 minutes, and try to remember every detail up until the present moment. Another way is to keep a journal by your bed and as soon as you wake up, write down as much of the dream as you can remember, which exercises your recall memory.
- Reality checks: This is a term that is thrown around the lucid dreaming community quite often. Every chance you get, remind yourself that you are awake. Some people draw dots on their hands, look at a clock, or flick a light switch. When it reacts as one would expect, they tell themselves “I am awake because this worked”. Once done enough, that person might try a reality check in a dream and suddenly realize they are dreaming.
Lucid dreaming is hard to achieve and takes some people months to achieve just one so it takes practice. A few supplements to try to achieve lucid dreaming are DMAE and Galantamine, but many of the nootropics have this purported effect.