Re: Sex vs. sleep

Harvey Newstrom (
Sat, 3 Jul 1999 15:34:08 -0400

Leviathan <> wrote:
> I have lucid dreamed a few times, but now I always wake up immediately
> I
> become lucid. Does anyone happen to know how to stop this from happening?
> I have heard that as soon as you become lucid, you become more aware of
> outside stimula because you are more aware of your senses than in normal
> dreaming, but if you spin while in the lucid dream, you can stay dreaming
> because
> much of your sensory abilities are being used to simulate the spinning and
> to keep
> you balanced, basically distracting you from outside stimula...I have not
> tried this yet
> though....

Yes, this is exactly right. You become more aware of outside stimula, because you realize that you are really in bed asleep, and you tend to start trying to see and feel the real world instead of the dream.

The spinning idea was published in Discover magazine, and they said they didn't know why it worked. I don't think that balance has anything to do with it. With many years of experience, I have my own theory. I believe that when you start spinning, your field of vision moves around to see new things that were outside of your field of view before. Your dream-generating parts of your mind have to go into full dream-production mode to generate the new field of view. This strengthens the dream, and also gives you more dream stimulus to interpret, so you are less likely to detect the real world stimulus.

The only thing that makes sense about the balance is that you don't want your internal sense of balance to realize that you are lying down. You want to dream that you are standing up (usually). Spinning might confuse this sense to be unsure which way is down, and which way you are lying down. I still prefer my first theory above.

The other problem with dreams is remembering them. Dreams go into temporary memory and are not usually recorded into long term memory. It is like when you are driving down the road and pass many cars. You don't think about them and don't remember them later. This is because the conscious mind filters everything and only records the important stuff. Dreams are somehow determined to be unimportant, so they fade away quickly. To remember your dreams, you need to recount the dream to yourself as soon as you wake up. Try to remember every detail in order as it happened. If you do this, your conscious awake mind takes note of the information, and it will be remembered as an important conscious waking thought.

Harvey Newstrom <mailto://> <>

Author, Consultant, Engineer, Legal Hacker, Researcher, Scientist.