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​Mind Body Healing: Ashwagandha

In our relatively young, modern country, Americans are slowly coming to the realization that there are, in fact, many ancient medical remedies and treatments that effectively improve upon one’s quality of health and life without invasive procedures. It’s been a challenging awaking for many of us to explore feasible, effective health solutions beyond the popular pharmaceuticals and surgical procedures; however, with the help of the web, people are finally discovering legitimate, alternative health solutions to their ailments, and it’s stunning to find out how simple the solutions sometimes are.

Withania somnifera

We, thus, turn our attention to Ashwagandha’s amazing and abundant health benefits: it’s been used for thousands of years in India, Arabia, and Africa to treat numerous ailments such as anxiety, acute stress, hormone imbalances, insomnia, arthritis/inflammation, memory loss, liver diseases, menopause, cancer, and much more. Ashwagandha for medicinal treatments in the United States is beginning to gain significant fame, but Western medicine and science hasn’t thoroughly research the root enough yet to fully understand the complexities of it’s workings with various treatments. Where Western and ancient medicine are in agreement on Ashwagandha is how it impacts the brain to promote much needed healing throughout the body.


Ashwagandha (if you’re new to the name) is also known as Indian ginseng or withnia somnifera, and it’s been a traditional Ayurveda staple for medical usage in India and parts of Africa and Arabia for over three thousand years. The medicinal root/herb has finally caught the attention of Western scientists and pharmaceutical companies for its many positive health benefits, and interested researchers continue to test and understand its properties in a multitude of health treatments.


Thus far, the most conclusive data that’s been found by scientists is Ashwagandha’s positive impact on the brain which, in turn, regulates nearly every aspect of health and wellness in the body. Neuroscience today (via biochemistry) explains Ashwagandha’s relationship to the brain in terms of assistance in guiding and regulating essential hormones, chemicals, and synapses that contribute to a healthy, invigorating life.



Stress, The Silent Killer


On a chemical level, one of our greatest adversaries to our health is stress. Even when consciously ignored, stress continues to negatively impact the body, and its effects are potent and systemic. Take cortisol for example: it’s a hormone that’s released into the body when you’re mentally or physically stressed. Cortisol creates all sorts of havoc in the body. It’s well known for producing lethargy with irresistible urges to binge eat comfort foods when you feel down and out. This, of course, leads to weight gain, muscle loss, fatigue, depression, and cognitive impairment, and when this becomes the norm in one’s life, more detrimental health problems can arise such as acid reflux, insomnia, gut imbalances, increased blood pressure, slower tissue regeneration, and a suppressed immune system for fighting external threats to our bodies. Let’s face it: when we’re not stressed out, we can quickly fall apart. That’s why it’s essential to manage and control stress, and this has been Ashwagandha’s primary use for thousands of years. [1] In a recent study measuring the increase and decrease of cortisol levels in patients, Ashwaganda and placebos were administered during the experiment and 64 individuals were observed as testing positive from the benefits of the herb for stress reduction. [2] Additional research has found Ashwagandha to have comparable benefits to the major anti-anxiety drug Lorazepam, but without having unwanted side effects like sleep apnea, Ataxi, and allergy hypersensitivity.



Rest, Relaxation, and a Positive Mood

In relationship to stress reduction, there is the opportunity for the body to rest and heal itself properly. Ashwagandha’s positive contribution to hormone regulations and stress reduction has been shown to reduce insomnia, anxiety, and other sleep prohibitors. By getting complete, uninterrupted sleep cycles at night, the body can heal and rejuvenate itself, as well as be fortified against physical and mental stressors we come into contact with daily. When rest is consistent, our minds have the time to contemplate what’s actually happening and react properly to the world around it. This means better decisions and outcomes. Emotionally, one’s mood is at peace and more resilient to frustration and distraction. In our fast paced world, who couldn’t benefit from being more rested, healthy, and responsive?


Arthritis and Inflammation


Inflammation and arthritis is unfortunately something the majority of us experience at some point in our lives, whether it’s from aging, injuries, or debilitating disorders. For hundreds of years, Ashwagandha has been used to treat inflammation, and now scientists are verifying its effectiveness. In 2015, a study was conducted on 86 patients suffering from intense joint pain [3]. Subjects were administered Ashwagandha supplements for a brief 3 week period, and results showed a conclusive reduction in pain and swelling reduction. While more studies need to be carried out on the herb’s use for treating inflammation, Ashwagandha is looking to be effective in managing swelling and joint pain. 
The use of Ashwagandha is so broad due in part to its’ composition, which includes iron, antioxidants, potassium, nitrate, alkaloids and fatty acids, all of which work together to lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and adjust the immune system. What’s currently not known by scientists at this time is if there are any negative side-effects from using the treatment long term.



Alzheimer’s and Dementia


Current research by Japanese scientists have discovered that Ashwagandha is helping to regenerate nerve cells in the brain that were previously damaged [4]. Additional research demonstrates that the treatment is proving to reconstruct brain synapses that promote cellular communications that were formerly lost. While Ashwagandha hasn’t been directly used yet to treat Alzheimer’s and dementia patients, scientific interest in the root’s healing properties are steadily increasing. The ancient medicine may be used in the near future to repair many brain trauma related injuries.



Fertility and Sexual Potency


Ancient medicine has traditionally prescribed Ashwagandha for treating fertility and sexual dysfunctions in both men and women. The root has been long used as an aphrodisiac, and has been scientifically proven to rebalance and revitalize testosterone production [8][9].



Menopause


Menopause is an extremely challenging time in a woman’s life due to the extreme hormonal changes going on within the body. These changes bring on a great deal of stress, physiological implications (i.e., hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety, etc.), and discomfort that, according to modern medicine, must simply run its course. With women, however, Ashwagandha treatments can positively impact the endocrine system, and thus, balance hormones much better. [10][11] In a 2012 study involving 51 menopausal women, Ashwagandha supplements were administered and there was a sizable reduction in their symptoms such as anxiety, hot flashes, and mood.



Cautionary Use of Ashwagandha


At this point in time, Ashwagandha hasn’t been thoroughly studied by Western science to determine any potential long-term side effects from using the herb for various treatments. Be advised that if you have any of the three following health circumstances, you should not take Ashwagandha due to the negative side effects:

  • Hyperthyroidism: While Ashwagandha has been well documented to balance hormones, if you have hyperthyroidism, it’s strongly advised to not use the herb.
  • Exacerbate other medications – especially sedatives and downers: Ashwagandha has been found to exacerbate or intensify the effects of other drugs – especially depressants like alcohol, barbiturates, and pain killers. They should therefore not be mixed with Ashwagandha.
  • Pregnancy and Nursing: Ashwagandha has been known to cause miscarriages, so it should never be taken by pregnant mothers, nor should it be taken if you are breast feeding.


It is also not recommended for those with autoimmune diseases; those prone to ulcers; those with diabetes; iron deficiencies; or those about to have surgery. Those with thyroid concerns should also consider the combination of this supplement with their regulatory medications.


The manner in which you take Ashwagandha is dependent on your doctor or Ayurvedic practitioner’s recommendations, along with your direct reason for taking the medicine, and any other health concerns you have. Therefore, there is no one particular dosage or methodology. However, several sources have recommendations to take before bed, to aid in sleep. Many people will mix in approximately three grams of Ashwagandha powder in warm milk. The average daily intake is between one and six grams. Some people do report intense nightmares with this medicine, when the dosage taken is too high for their system.


It is important to purchase your supplements from a trusted source, as there are reports that many drugs have higher the daily recommended levels of lead, arsenic, and mercury. The FDA has therefore placed particular regulations on such medicines as Ashwagandha.



-All Dream Leaf supplements are produced in a FDA Certified Lab in the United States-


*Note, this is considered to be a very potent plant, and can have harmful side effects when taken incorrectly or by those with certain health conditions, and therefore is recommended for use as detailed by a doctor and/or Ayurvedic practitioner. Before taking any supplement you should always talk to a doctor first and list all the medicines and supplements you are currently prescribed as this list isn’t entirely comprehensive, and medicinal supplements should be chosen based on individual need and care.


Try it today:


Sources
  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23439798
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11194174
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25857501
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15711595
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14575818
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15841284
  7. http://www.ijpsdr.com/pdf/vol3-issue4/1.pdf
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19501822
  9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23796876
  10. http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health…
  11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23723668

Image Source

  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:WithaniaFruit.jpg

Healing Through Dreams and the Power of Lucid Dreaming

Every time we fall asleep, something mysterious happens within our minds, our bodies, and souls. We dream.

As our tired heads lay on our downy pillows, the characters we call “I” and “me” are transported through the tunnels of our conscious minds and are tossed into a sphere of perfect memory within our individual minds and we engage with the meticulous documentation of life’s heterogeneous events within the realm of the subconscious mind.  

Although dreams can be perplexing and even frightening at times, they are vital for our emotional health as human beings. In fact, interestingly enough, one of the most common comparables that people suffering with depression share in common is insomnia. And why might this be?… well, because dream sleep is essential for dealing with life’s emotions.

We need to dream. And if we do not experience quality dream sleep for extended periods of time, we suffer. The function of dreaming is literally embedded into our DNA (along with virtually every other living organism on Earth) and there is incredible purpose behind why you and I will spend about 32 years of our lives sawing logs.  

It’s important to realize that dreams are much more than strange expressions of the imagination though; there are many things happeneing at different levels below our dreams. They literally help us heal, rejuvenate, and improve our ability to deal with life’s stresses and activities.

A lot of people don’t know this but with the proper skills and tools you can greatly enhance the dreaming experience to help you heal your life. This article is going to focus on some recent research that has been done on dreaming, but also introduces you to the ways in which lucid dreaming can help you experience incredible moments of healing and emotional resolution.

What are dreams?

Dreams are metaphorical representations of what’s going on internally. The metaphors that we dream in use things that we are familiar with as forms of expression, such as what we’ve seen, heard, felt, smelt, and tasted in life. But our dreams rearrange these experiences into interesting pronouncements of our internal needs and desires. You could say that dreams are metaphors of what’s going on physically, spiritually, and emotionally, which is why emotional health counselors often take an interest in their patient’s dreams as a form of psychotherapy. You truly can learn things about yourself, your past, and your emotional health from your dreams – things that we sometimes repress in waking life, but are desperately seeking our attention.

As odd as our dreams may appear, science has shown that dreams are powerful resources for emotional resolution, and that they help us prepare for life’s stresses, and fulfilling our need for rest.

Perhaps one of the most fascinating things about dreams though is that, in them, we escape the restrictions of time and space and are allowed to venture into the deepest layers of our identity. And without these limitations we are permitted to enter the darkest caverns of our hearts and can thereby access memory to an extent far beyond that of the conscious mind. How amazing is that?!  

The eccentric perspective of our emotions and inner selves that dreaming allows us to see has caused many people to believe that lucid dreaming can help us tap into the limitless power of the subconscious mind, and that we can consciously guide the dreaming experience to our benefit.  

As a lucid dreaming practitioner of over 10 years, I can tell you from experience that this is all a reality.  You truly can make remarkable progress internally and heal things in your life you never thought possible through the power of lucid dreaming.  And the coolest part about it all is that anyone can learn how to do it.  I’m walking and talking evidence of this.  

Anyway, moving on…

The science of lucid dreaming (for the skeptic):


For many years, members of the scientific community remained incredulous to the claims of lucid dreamers and the proposed ability to consciously control the mind while dreaming. Many people (even very educated people) used to believe that lucid dreaming was hokie pokie nonsense. But things have shifted, due to the vast attention and research that’s been directed on the subject of lucid dreaming.

“Lucid dreaming has considerable potential for promoting personal growth and self-development, enhancing self-confidence, improving mental and physical health, facilitating creative problem solving and helping you to progress on the path to self-mastery.”

-Stephen LaBerge, PhD

Last year, at the Max Planck institute of Germany, lucid dreaming was verified (yet again) as a scientific fact and was demonstrated to be both testable and reproducible. In the study that was performed, researchers asked well-practiced lucid dreamers to undergo some basic brain scans while performing basic activities as an attempt to verify that these individuals could attain consciousness within the dreamscape.

Prior to the lucid dreamers going to sleep, the researchers had each participant perform the basic task of alternating their fist clenching from left to right. Then they asked the dreamers to communicate back to them from their beds as soon as soon as they had successfully initiated a lucid dream and had them to perform the same basic exercise of clenching their fists from left to right. Fascinatingly, the dreamers successfully activated the same parts of the brain when they clenched their fists from left to right during REM sleep as they did while awake.  

Pretty cool, right? So what can be done with lucid dreaming and how can it be used for emotional health?

What happens in our dreams doesn’t necessarily have to stay in our dreams:

You can look at the subconscious mind, which governs the mechanism of dreaming, as a library, containing volumes of information about you, such as what your true emotions are, who is a threat to you emotionally, etc. Although many of these secrets have been buried deep below the territory of the conscious mind, they echo like a familiar voice to our ears when we dream, so much so, that we often believe that our dreams are real when we are in them. Even beyond our dreams, we (and maybe you’ve probably even experienced this yourself) – we sometimes wake up with powerful emotions that carry a residual affect into our waking lives. Have you ever experienced this?  It can have an undeniable affect on your day.  

Most people know that the subconscious mind operates through patterns. We can see this because it governs pretty much everything within the human psyche that requires automatic repetition, such as our heartbeat, catching us when we trip, or even how we react to situations and people within our lives. And the fabric in which many of these patterns are weaved deep within us is through the mechanism of dreaming.

How Can Lucid Dreaming Help Me Heal Emotionally?

Lucid dreaming can assist with emotional healing by helping you correct some of the subconscious patterns that have been knotted in your mind and heart and life.

A good example of this is how people use lucid dreaming to overcome recurring dreams and nightmares. Interestingly, research has shown that there is a direct correlation between people who have recurring nightmares and those who suffer with OCD, anxiety, and even PTSD. But research has also shown that lucid dreaming can often help people combat these disorders and end recurring dreams by changing the dream experience through conscious guidance.

One documented instance of this was broadcast on radio lab a few years ago. A gentleman shared his fascinating story about a repeated nightmare he’d been traumatized by for over 10 years.  But he finally ended it once and for all after he confronted the terrifying character of his dream while in a state of lucidity. I highly recommend listening to this when you have a chance. It demonstrates some of the very facts we are discussing.

In summary, as you consciously guide the outcome of your dreams so that they play out how your conscious mind directs rather than by default – you can heal wounds that have repeatedly affected you over and over through out your life. This is possible through the practice of lucid dreaming.  It takes a little practice, and even a little know how, but in reality, anyone can learn it. Like I said earlier, I’m walking and talking evidence of this.  

How Can I Start Having Lucid Dreams?

If you are interested in exploring your internal world a bit through lucid dreaming, I want you to know that you can learn how to do this.  There are all kinds of lucid dreaming techniques out there; some work, while others are truly a waste of time.  Trust me on this.  Below I’ll share a link to some techniques that have helped me develop my lucid dreaming capacity.

For me, the two  best methods I’ve discovered to start having successful lucid dreams is through the aid of natural supplements like Dream Leaf and through dream journaling.  

It’s important to understand that the types of things we put into our bodes have a direct impact on the dreaming experience.  Interestingly, several natural herbs have been shown to heighten dream awareness and have even been proven to promote lucid dreaming.  Dream Leaf is unique in the fact that it combines 5 of the most effective lucid dreaming supplements into a single blend that harmonizes naturally with your sleep cycle.  I recommend this supplement to beginners especially because thousands of people have experienced their first lucid dreams through the use of Dream Leaf.  The dreaming experiences I’ve had with it myself have truly been amazing and I can confidently endorse its effectiveness.  

An Advanced Lucid Dreaming Supplement

Other resources to consider:

If you’re interested getting serious about digging deeper into your dreams through the power of lucid dreaming, it can also be incredibly healing to journal your dreams.  Below is a specialized dream journal I helped develop, which successfully funded on Kickstarter last year.  My own experience with this tool has been very meaningful to me.  It helps you identify themes, symbols, and pull meaning from my dreams.  The sole purpose of this notebook is to help you record your dreams, but it adds some features recommended by dream researchers for a deeper system of engagement with your dreams.  

The Dream Atlas

Journaling in general has all kinds of proven therapeutic benefits, but dream journaling especially can truly open a resevoir of fascinating emotional metaphors that you can undoubtedly learn from. Interestingly too, did you know that the average person begins to experiencing lucid dreams after just 2 weeks of dream journaling?  I’m actually walking and talking evidence of this.  In fact, that’s how I first started to have lucid dreams.  I must say though that some dream journaling methods are more effective than others.   

Wake Up in Dreams with Lucid Dreaming Supplements


“After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.” 

-Morpheus

Lucid dreaming is by far one of the most undervalued
abilities that we have as human beings.
It does take a little practice, as well as a little know how, in order
to start achieving success but it really doesn’t take long to learn and these
experiences can honestly be remarkable. I can confidently promise that pretty much anyone out there can start
having lucid dreams within just a couple weeks, and with the techniques I’m
about to show you, even just a few days.

First off, what is
lucid dreaming?

Lucid dreaming is the act of becoming conscious while you
dream, or awake while in a state of dreaming. In these dreams, you enter into a
kind of simulation experience that is guided solely by your own mind and
imagination so the sky is the limit.  

In my own lucid dreams, I’ve learned to control the dreamscape,
fly on command, converse with older versions of myself (weird, I know) and manipulate my
dreams in ways that have been truly unforgettable. I’ve learned fascinating things about my mind and how
deeply complex our human psychology actually is.

Since lucid dreaming has contributed such drastic changes in
my perception of life and who I am as a person, I can’t help but feel this
anxious excitement to help others journey deeper into the world of their
dreams, and lucid dreaming honestly is the best vehicle to take you there. It is not just an entertaining thing to try; it
can offer physical, emotional and spiritual benefits that are absolutely
mind-blowing. I promise you that.

“Lucid dreaming has considerable potential for promoting personal growth and self-development, enhancing self-confidence, improving mental and physical health, facilitating creative problem solving and helping you to progress on the path to self-mastery.”

-Stephen LaBerge, PhD (Psychophysiologist and a leader in the scientific study of lucid dreaming)

What it’s like to
lucid dream:

What a lot of people don’t realize about lucid dreaming is
that all five of your senses cooperate in these dreams to create a perception
of reality that is just as convincing as what you experience in your waking
life, making such dreams as real to you as reality itself…. I mean besides the
fact that there are no limits ; )

I personally have had several lucid dreams where I had to
remind myself more than just once that the dream was just a dream because it
felt so real. I’ve conversed with
friends who were so accurately represented by my subconscious mind that I’ve
literally stopped and wondered, is this really him or her?

There is a feeling of realness that lucid dreaming allows
you to access within your imagination, which is unlike anything you will experience elsewhere.  Your internal imagination becomes the captain of your reality and your
own creativity is the only limit. You
can fly, visit a country of your choice, or even talk to a loved one who has
passed away. Personally, I think lucid
dreaming is best practiced for meaningful engagement. Yes, it’s entertaining… but you may as well
bring back a meaningful experience.

(For the skeptic…) Yes,
lucid dreaming is a real verifiable practice:

A
couple years ago, at the Max Planck institute in Germany, the veracity of lucid
dreaming was proven (yet again) as a scientific fact and demonstrated to be
both reproducible and testable. In this study, researchers asked well-practiced
lucid dreamers to undergo some specialized brain scans as an attempt to verify
that these individuals could actually attain consciousness while sleeping/
dreaming.

Prior
to the lucid dreamers going to sleep, the researchers had their participants
perform the basic task of alternating their fist clenching from left to right.
They analyzed and documented the regions
that these basic exercises elicited on their brain scans and then asked the
dreamers to communicate back to them from their beds as soon as soon as they
had successfully initiated a lucid dream during sleep.  To verify, they were asked to perform the
same basic exercise of clenching their fists from left to right while dreaming.
Fascinatingly the dreamers successfully activated the exact same regions of the
brain when they clenched from left hand to right during dream sleep as they did
while awake.

Anyway,
moving on…

So, how do I have
lucid dreams?

There are all kinds of methods that people use in order to
have lucid dreams but I’ve found that certain techniques criculating on the
Internet are honestly a waste of time… yet other techniques offer much
quicker and better results. Everyone
sleeps/ dreams a bit differently but there are a few strategies that are
universally more effective than others.

From what I’ve observed and experienced, the quickest
results tend to come from lucid dreaming supplements, so I’m going to focus
more on that topic than the other techniques in this particular entry, but just
keep in mind that other techniques may be helpful to practice collectively in
order to achieve optimal results.

Anyway, here are a few tips I’d like to share as someone who has
been actively lucid dreaming for over 10 years now. These are the techniques that have worked
best for me as well as for the community of lucid dreamers I’ve been able to
engage with over the last several years.  First I share a bit about dream journaling and then I explain a bit about lucid dreaming supplements and something called
Dream Leaf in particular.  

Dream Journaling for
lucid dreams

This is by far one of the most important things you need to
do if you are seeking success with lucid dream induction, and the reason why is
because it thins the line between your conscious awareness and your
dreams. Just by engaging with your
dreams, you become more familiar with the territory of the dreamscape and
increase your likelihood to achieve lucidity.
What’s most important is that you engage deeply with your dreams. Sometimes just thinking about your dreams
more can promote lucid dreaming experiences, as simple as that might
sound. I cannot even count how many
times I’ve introduced people to the idea of lucid dreaming and then had them
tell me days later how they just happened to have their first lucid dream.

But, I also think dream journaling is really important
because it can be so valuable to go back and read about the dreams you have had in
the past. You’d be surprised how
quickly the memories of your dreams can escape your mind… so writing them down
is vital if you want to keep those experiences in your conscious memory. Trust me on this. I’ve lost access to some very special dreams
that I never thought I’d let slip from my mind.
It’s always worth the effort to record your dreams.

(*Side note about
dream journaling)

I personally have found that many of my dreams become more
meaningful to me as I read them years later.
In a very odd and unusual way, dreams tend to offer you intuitive
messages that often stem from what’s going on internally. As I’ve developed more familiarity with the
way my dreams speak to me personally, I’ve honestly found it amazing how
accurately my dreaming intuition has been with respect to important topics in
my own life.

Just remember that dreams do not speak with the same
language as we are used to using in waking life. They do not express themselves directly. They are metaphorical expressions of what’s
going on internally. In order to gather
meaning, read back on your dreams like a piece of fiction… fiction with a subtext,
and an underlying narrative that the author (your subconscious mind) is trying to
bring to your conscious attention. Look
at the themes, identify the symbols and pull out their meaning to you personally. 

Oh, and please throw away your dream
dictionaries… I’m a big believer that meaning in dreams is entirely subjective
to each dreamer. A fish to you probably
doesn’t mean the same thing as it does to me. Yes,
from time to time, there are some archetype symbols that may appear in dreams
but it is better to practice looking at each aspect of your dream as the author rather than allowing some external influence to tell you what a certain symbol means to
you.

The Dream Atlas is a great resource for engaging more deeply with your dreams.  It successfully funded on Kickstarter last year and helps dreamers journal their dreams as well as analyze and interpret them.  If you’re interested.  Check it out.  

Lucid dreaming
supplements

Even many of the more advanced lucid dreamers don’t know about
this but there are actually quite a few natural supplements that can help you have
lucid dreams… and quickly. For many
people, the supplement approach can cause lucid experiences within 24 – 48
hours.  This is often but not always the case.  Supplements will open the door to lucidity, but you still need to turn the knob and walk in if that makes sense.

It’s important to realize that the neuro-environment within
your brain needs to be ideal in order to lucid dream. Putting the wrong things in your body can greatly
disrupt your lucid dreaming ability (sorry cannabis/ alcohol users, but YES –
marijuana and alcohol do not mesh well with the practice of lucid dreaming). But on the other hand, putting the right
things in your body AT THE RIGHT TIME especially can greatly increase your
likelihood of success.

Dream Leaf

Dream Leaf is a blend of dietary supplements that helps awaken conscious thought processes during dream sleep. This supplement promotes lucid dreaming both directly and indirectly and comes in two parts for this very reason. There is a blue pill and a red pill, each contain totally different ingredients, and have entirely separate functions in the brain for lucid dream induction. But when combined together and used properly, Dream Leaf can take your dreams to an entirely new level.


Some of my very favorite lucid dreams have occurred while
using Dream Leaf. I find that it
provides an extra layer of control within my lucid dreams, where I’m able to
get a lot more creative and manipulate the dreamscape in ways that might
typically wake me up.

A few other firsthand
experiences with the Dream Leaf effect

Below are legitimate reviews from other users of Dream Leaf, many of which were successfully able to experience their first lucid dream ever.  More reviews can be found on Amazon here. Other’s can be found on the Dream Leaf product page as well.  

Robert

“During
the nights that I’ve taken Dream Leaf, I’ve found that my dreams become weirdly
realistic. I’ve had 4 – 5 flying dreams that were totally self-induced and
completely lucid.”

Caitlin

“I’ve
tried Dream Leaf about 10 times now and have honestly had surprising results…
several lucid dreams, which are very rare for me to experience.”

Juan

“The
lucid dreams I’ve had with Dream Leaf have been amazing … I have total
control, just desire and the world turns … I’ve flown, visited many places,
created islands of fantasy… piloted a plane, and this with my first bottle.”

J Miller

“I bought a bottle about 6 months ago and never tried it until last night. I followed the instructions on the bottle, took the blue pill at 11 and the red pill at 3. I honestly didn’t think it’d work the first time because lucidity is quite rare for me, plus who knows if this stuff is really good at doing what it says anyway. I was prepared to be disappointed. but I wasn’t (disappointed, that is).”

“I became aware that I was dreaming at around 5 am. I know this because after a few moments of taking in the realization that I was aware in my dream I awoke as I always do when achieving lucidity. However, I was able to stay longer than I have in years. I’ll definitely be trying this again, probably every weekend. Definitely worth giving a bottle a try.”

How the blue pill works

The blue pill functions kind of like a bow and arrow. It’s like pulling the arrow back, and by
creating tension it propels your dreams toward to your target –
lucidity.

The blue pill contains ingredients that fuel deep sleep for
the first 4 hours of the night and simultaneously inhibits your REM sleep. And
although our deep sleep has little to do with lucid dreaming (because lucid
dreams tend to take place during REM) promoting lengthened deep sleep
early in the night causes your body to accelerate its REM cycle in order to
balance out the REM to deep sleep ratio during the morning hours, which is when lucid
dreaming is most likely to occur. Doing
this tends to make your dreams vivid and realistic, often adding a heightened
level of conscious awareness in your dreams and triggering a sense of lucidity.

How the red pill works


The red pill functions more like a rocket, fueled by the
neurotransmitters involved in your conscious thought processes.
By increasing the level of certain neurotransmitters, you can greatly
increase your success with lucid dreaming.
This pill also promotes an accelerated REM cycle to piggyback on the
effects of the blue pill.

It’s imporant to note that one of the most significant roles for lucid dreaming
supplementation is to increase your acetylcholine levels while you dream. And the reason why is because acetylcholine
is what connects your thoughts to your memories of reality. Because as soon as we fall asleep, our ACh levels
tend to breakdown rapidly which is what causes us to become unconscious in our dreams.  

Higher acetylcholine = the better your
chances of having a lucid dream.


Dream Leaf successfully increases your level of the
neurotransmitter Acetylcholine in two ways; one is by blocking the enzyme that
typically causes ACh to breakdown and the other is by promoting the production
of ACh directly.

For more information on this just visit the How it works page.

As I mentioned earlier, some of my most incredible lucid
dreaming experiences have occurred while using Dream Leaf. Yet there are a variety of other ways to have
lucid dreams. I’ve found that supplements provide you with a quick and easy
opportunity to experience lucid dreaming more quickly, and it definitely adds a
level of control that enhances the lucid dreaming experience as well. But you may as well experiment on yourself
with what techniques work best for you.
From what I’ve been able to observe, lucid dreaming supplements and
dream journaling are the two most effective ways to have lucid dreams in a
short amount of time.

A couple other lucid dreaming techniques:

Below are 2 other lucid dreaming techniques that I
personally can endorse as well. Linked
to these are a couple of other articles that explain how to use and have
success with each:

Reality checks

WBTB

Oh, and if you want to know what it’s like…

If you haven’t yet had a lucid dream, I hope you’re
excited. If your journey ends up being
as meaningful as mine has been, you have a lot to look forward to. Below is a
little write up I put together on my very first lucid dream just to give you a
little taste. I pulled this out of an old dream journal of mine and did my best to describe
this particular dream as accurately as possible.  

My first lucid dream : )

Adderall is Killing Your Brain – My Personal Experience

As far as I can remember, I was the first kid I knew to be diagnosed with ADHD. This was back in the 90’s before it became commonplace. At that time Adderall was, for most people, unheard of. It has since become one of the most abused drugs on the market and although I stopped taking it years ago, I wanted to share my personal experience with it and offer a few suggestions for natural supplementation.  

When I first starting taking Adderall, I immediately noticed that it made it much easier to function in a class setting. I felt very dialed in – like I could sit down and read the Bible cover to cover in one sitting. For a rambunctious 8th grader, it was a godsend. Except for one thing. I hated it.

The problem is that I liked being the way I was and I felt like my medication was make me a little less me. Actually, it made me a lot less me. It was a trade off though, because I definitely performed better in school.

After some time, I decided to stop taking Adderall. This was a unilateral decision. I didn’t even tell my parents. I would just pretend to take my pill every morning before school and then throw it into the bushes on my way to the bus stop. I probably threw thousands of my parents’ dollars worth of medicine into those bushes over the years. What’s funny is, looking back, I’m sure they would have been fine with me not taking it if I told them I didn’t like it. I probably should have handled that differently.

Now, as an adult, I have learned to deal with ADHD in a different way. I still don’t like to take Adderall, even though there are clear benefits to taking it. I’ve found natural dietary supplements, like 
Fox Thoughts, that help me to focus without some of the negative side effects that come along with ADHD medications.

Smart Pills

I’ve also found that a lot of people are taking Adderall now. A lot. And many of those people don’t even really have ADHD. They just want to be able to study longer. Some people use them to cram for tests while others use them just to get work done. And sources say that as many as 20-30 percent of all college students are currently using Adderall.

Do you want to hear something funny about using Adderall to study for a test? It doesn’t work. That’s right, it doesn’t work. People who use it to study for a test don’t actually perform better on the test than those who don’t. But, when asked how they think they did, those who took Adderall feel more confident about their results than those who didn’t, even though their results aren’t any different.

What are the risks?

As a kid, I stopped taking Adderall because it made me feel less like myself and more like a robot. I honestly wasn’t interested in the actual documented side effects at that point because I was invincible back then. But the negative effects are just too pronounced to ignore. Things like headaches, trouble sleeping, loss of interest in sex, and diarrhea can occur, just to name a few of the funnier ones. Some of the more serious side effects include seizures, hallucinations or delusions, uncontrollable behavior, uncontrolled movements or sounds, and swelling of the face, among others.

Those things sound scary – and I’ve experienced a few of them myself – but the scariest part for me are the long term side effects. There is evidence that long term Adderall use may damage short term memory and lead to chronic depression, hostility, paranoia, premature aging, and chronic sleeping problems. Actually, the full list of long and short term side effects almost looks like a joke with how long it is and how horrible some of the line items are.

Side effects of Adderall include:

  • Nervousness
  • Restlessness
  • Excitability
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Tremors
  • Weakness
  • Blurred vision
  • Sleep problems (insomnia)
  • Dry mouth or unpleasant taste in the mouth and bad breath
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Hair loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Heart palpitations
  • Loss of interest in sex, impotence, and/or difficulty having an orgasm
  • Muscle tics
  • Hallucinations
  • Erratic behavior
  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and throat
  • Adderall is habit forming and chronic use may lead to dependence

source:
http://www.rxlist.com/adderall-side-effects-drug-…

Perceived as being safe

One study found that 8 out of 10 students think that Adderall was either completely safe or had a very low risk. In reality, it is a Schedule II drug, which is in the same category as morphine, oxycodone, and cocaine. It was classified this way because it has a high risk of abuse and it can cause severe psychological and physical dependence. Your doctor might not tell you that part though. I don’t know, maybe he will but mine didn’t. And now I’m a hostile, paranoid jerk with a swollen face. 😉 

Natural alternatives to Adderall

For those of us who, despite our ADHD, function just fine without medication (or maybe even enjoy the person we are when not on Adderall), there are other great options out there. Healthy eating is a good first step. Supplements like Ginkgo Biloba, Vinpocetine, and L-Tyrosine can be very helpful and healthy options, as well. Or, like I mentioned above, supplements like
Fox Thoughts that combine various vitamins, minerals, and herbs that have been show to help with focus and mental stamina.

At this point, I should probably disclose something that is probably obvious to you already – I’m not a doctor. I’m not qualified to give you medical advice of any kind. I’m just an regular adult with ADHD – average height, not really attractive or unattractive, probably a 5 out of 10 on a good hair day, mostly bald, though, so good hair days are less and less common; and I love being the best version of me I can be.

​Are Out of Body Experiences real? My personal experience

To be honest, I started out not believing that OBE’s, or Out of Body Experiences, are real. I’m still not sure how to interpret these astral travels. A lot of people claim to have had experiences where they have come out of their body and some have even gone and visited other people or places and supposedly verified that the event actually occurred. It’s hard to know whether these people had an experience that took place entirely inside their mind – some variation of a lucid dream – or if they are actually leaving their bodies in some way. Either way, it is fascinating.

My First OBE Experience:

I had my first OBE a few years ago. I was sleeping on my bed when I suddenly opened my eyes but was completely paralyzed and unable to control my breathing. I was experiencing sleep paralysis – something that I have suffered from since I was 18. If you have not experienced sleep paralysis, consider yourself lucky. It can be terrifying and extremely uncomfortable. But the strange thing about sleep paralysis is that it is by far the most common segue into an OBE.

As I was struggling for breath, and trying desperately to wake myself up, I suddenly sat up. I looked back at the bed and saw myself laying there asleep. The surprise and confusion I felt are hard to describe but I was so relieved at not having to struggle for breath that it took the edge off the fear that I may otherwise have felt. I decided to stand up and see how far from my body I could go. I thought I would go out of my bedroom and find something that was out of place or unusual in another room, take note of it, and then check in the morning to verify that I had actually left my body and was not just in a dream.

As I stood up, I found that leaving the room was not going to be as easy as I first thought. You know that feeling you get when you stand on the edge of a steep drop-off or a tall building? You feel fear of falling mixed with the strange curiosity of what would happen if you just jumped. I felt that same type of feeling. That very unsafe, unstable, but exhilarating feeling – like something horrible might happen if I wasn’t really careful, but I was also very curious and excited.

In the end, I walked a few feet from the bed and then was overcome with a feeling of dread, so I went back, laid down into my body, and immediately woke up.

OBE - Out of Body Experience

I was left to wonder whether what I had just experienced was something real, and some part of myself, my spirit or my consciousness, left my physical body and moved around independently, or if this was just a strange dream.

I’ve since had several of these experiences and they have each left me wondering what truly is happening with the mind, or perhaps the soul.  It’s also made me wonder at time, what is consciousness? – can my consciousness actually exit my body? – or can this somehow be explained psychologically?

Perspectives on OBE’s:

You can find many first-hand accounts from people who have had similar experiences. As you read a few, you may begin to notice some strangely symmetrical themes between accounts, which adds perplexity to the topic.  People often begin in paralysis, experience feelings of vibration, for whatever reason, many people report seeing a silver chord that reaches into their back.  

People even claim to have proved to themselves that they had really left their body by doing what I had planned on doing – finding something out of place and then going back to check if it was really out of place.  

And some people have Out of Body Experiences regularly and say that the feeling of dread (which trust me, can be a feeling of dread) goes away the more accustomed you become to it. I recently met someone who said that he routinely goes to other people’s houses when this happens – pretty creepy. He was actually telling me how he once went to a friend’s house and noticed that he had new carpet. Later he called his friend in the morning and who confirmed that he had, in fact, just replaced his carpet… and it was the exact color described!

While I’ve heard many explanations for why this phenomenon occurs, and many of them are very interesting, at the end of the day, no one really knows for sure what is going on. Everyone that experiences an OBE tries to fit the experience into their current belief system of spirituality, rationality, etc. but the mystery remains.

Out of Body Experiences Vs. Near Death Experiences:

The connection between Out of Body Experiences during sleep and Near Death Experiences (NDE’s) is pretty crazy, too. People leaving their body and seeing themselves from an outside perspective is something that many people who have been on the brink of death or even clinically dead have reported. One key difference between sleep induced OBE’s and Near Death Experiences is that NDE’s are often associated with seeing a tunnel, speaking to deceased relatives and seeing beings of light, whereas OBE’s are typically not.

How to have OBE’s:

Extreme fatigue, dehydration, emotional stress, can sometimes promote OBE’s but with practice you can actually experience them intentionally. They can be induced through very similar methods as lucid dreaming. One key difference is that in order to exit your body, you typically have to enter into a state of sleep paralysis first.  Once this has been achieved, it’s usually just a matter of letting your “spirit” exit your body.  Sleep paralysis can be achieved through proper relaxation strategies but there are all kinds of strategies for this.  OBE’s can also be initiated through the use of Binaural Beats. Check it out if you haven’t heard of them. It’s pretty cool.

Are OBE’s Real?

Whether they are real or not, you have to admit, no matter what your religious beliefs are, the topic is fascinating. Psychology experts would likely believe that this is a purely psychological phenomenon and that nothing is actually occurring outside of the mind while others believe that this experience is as real and literal as waking life.  There is no denying that the feeling of an OBE is creepily real.  

Lucid dreaming was once in a similar realm of uncertainty, but starting in the 1970’s scientists began researching the subject successfully and ultimately proved that it is a real phenomenon. It will be interesting to see if OBE’s become a topic of research at some point in the future. Perhaps one day we will know what is actually going on and whether OBE’s are actually real or just extrememly powerful projections from the subconscious mind, but for now we are all left to wonder.

​Lucid Living: The Conscious/ Subconscious Relationship

Every moment of life is experienced either consciously or unconsciously. And in a very real way, we can choose to live either with our eyes open or closed. In the book Alice in Wonderland, Alice finds herself
confused by a fork in the road that requires her to ask a mysterious Cheshire cat she finds nearby which
path she should take. After doing so, the cat asks where
she’s going to which she admits that she doesn’t even know. It then says smartly, “If you don’t know
where you’re going, any road’ll take you there.”

And so it is with life.
If you aren’t making conscious decisions regarding the life you want to
live and the things you want to accomplish, directions are meaningless because
your desires are unconscious to you. The road you take will not matter if you
don’t know where you intend to arrive. With this being the case, it truly is vital for our development to consciously determine what
we want in life, where we wish to arrive, and what we think is worth our
conscious attention. 

After all, the person that each of us develops into has everything to do with
the behavior we choose to include in the scope of our conscious awareness. For instance, let’s say you set a goal to run a
marathon but you never confront the difficulty of consciously pushing past the point
of being tired.  Were this the case, it’s unlikely you would ever achieve a goal as lofty yet realistic as that. But, were you to take the time to learn how to consciously navigate your actions, even a goal like running a marathon suddenly becomes accessible.

And so it is with everything in life. This is why I think it’s important to understand
the relationship between the conscious and subconscious mind because every success in life is contingent on the way we enter into a conscious state of mind.  The more
territory you are able to add in the conscious realm, the more likely you are
to navigate the type of life you want. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that anything the
conscious mind doesn’t steer, the subconscious mind will govern by default. So, by not guiding your conscious attention toward
the things that you truly value, those things will enter into the realm of the
subconscious mind, which is risky because it’s guided by instincts rather than
self-awareness.  You want to live a life you want not a life that feels comfortable or one that you unconsciously fall into.  

I’ve learned from lucid dreaming as well as a few other
passions I’ve practiced in life that the relationship you establish between
your conscious and subconscious mind is a powerful one and that the conscious
mind can adopt any necessary responsibilities that you want under its control,
even in the subconscious territory of dreams.
It always takes work to make a subconscious thing conscious but it truly is
necessary for anyone seeking success.

So, how do we make a
subconscious thing conscious? I believe
that three things need to happen in order to do this on any level.

1 – Observe the thing
or behavior you want to make conscious:

The simple act of observing is the seed you plant before making an
unconscious thing conscious. It is
merely the act of opening your eyes that allows this process to begin. In
alcoholics anonymous, for instance, addicts, first learn to identify their
unconscious actions by admitting that they truly are addicted. And why?  Because change is not possible if you do not
recognize the fact that a change needs to be made.
So observe those changes that you want in your life but be realistic with yourself. Dig deep inside to identify what you
honestly are happy with and what you truly need to change in order to be happy. Oftentimes, you’ll be surprised by the
transformational changes the simple act of observing can inspire.

2 – Determine the way
you want to handle that behavior:

Once you’ve identified the thing you want to change, get idealistic for a minute.
Carefully consider what the ideal way of living your life would be. Do you want to travel?  Do you want to fall in love?  It’s sometimes tempting to lie to ourselves
about this kind of stuff because it suggests that work needs to be done and certain changes
will need to be made and that can be scary, but just remember, you can’t let
your unconscious fears determine your future.  Once these realizations have been made, consider the types of actions that are necessary to get you to where you want to be.  If you want to run a marathon, start planning how much you need to run each day.  

3 – Practice
consciously behaving that way:

After reflecting on things for a while, it should become a lot more obvious what you’ve been doing to keep you in the situation you’re in.  But once you’ve become conscious of the type of behavior that will lead you toward your destination, you need to put in in practice.  For instance, if you were to
realize that you were unhappy with your social life and that a change needed to
be made there in order for you to begin developing a healthy circle of friends,
you then need to start behaving in a way that is conducive to that type of
result. If you want friends, but you’re
constantly staying home watching Netflix, sadly, you probably won’t ever
achieve the social life you want.
Continueing on with this example, if you want friends, reach out to other
people, talk to strangers, rekindle past friendships.

As you start behaving consciously, you will slowly start to
see that your behavior is creating the reality you want. This is the power of conscious living. The relationship you develop with your subconscious
mind truly is one of the most important things to be aware of as you
strive to develop as a human being. 

You might be wondering what this has to do with lucid dreaming.  In a lot of ways, you can look at life through the same lens as you might your dreams.  Your dreams are unconsciously driven by default but how much cooler are dreams when we take conscious control of them.  I really think it’s the same principle in life.  You can live a lucid life, or you can live your life unconsciously.  It all comes down to the relationship you develop between your conscious and subconsious mind.

​Reaching High Level Lucid Dreams with Mugwort

Mugwort has produced, by far, some of my most fascinating
dreaming and lucid dreaming experiences of my entire life.  So, for anyone else that might be looking to pull more from their dreams, I want to share what I’ve learned over the years as
I’ve researched and experimented with this herb for dream enhancement because the results for me have truly been amazing.

First off, what is Mugwort?

Mugwort, also known as artemesia annua, is one of the most mysterious herbs in the botanical world because of its seemingy supernatural properties. But it’s also sweet to the taste, which makes it a wonderful tea sip down when you’re winding down for the day.

The history of Mugwort weaves through the realm of the mystical but has also proven its versatile benefits for human health in general, such as
its capacity to aid digestion, reduce anxiety, and promote relaxation. Way back in the day, Roman soldiers would actually place
Mugwort below their feet before walking long distances.  This prevented their feet from getting tired and kept them feeling fresh. Popularly too, John the Baptist
is believed to have worn Mugwort on his girdle while traveling in the
wilderness.  Why John would do this? – I have no idea.  But does it make Mugwort even more cool? – absolutely.

Dreams
and Lucid Dreaming:

Perhaps the most interesting property of Mugwort is its
affect on the dreaming mind. Dreaming can often reach incredible heights if Mugwort is taken shortly before bed.  Were you to
do a quick Google search on this unique herb, its likely you’d come across all
kinds of interesting stories, relating bizarre dreaming experiences that people
report after having consumed Mugwort.  

Lucid dreaming, improved dream recall, and enhanced dream
creativity
are just a few of its known side effects but I’m going to share with
you a very simple and effective way to get the most out of your Mugwort experience. Like I mentioned earlier, some
of my most fascinating dreaming experiences have taken place after ingesting this herb.

When to take it and how much?

You can drink Mugwort as a tea, or you can now purchase it
in capsule form. Either way, it’s
usually best to consume it about 30 – 60 minutes before bed, if you want to
have the best results.

A standard dosage is going to range between about 100 – 400
mg. Just make sure that you’ve stayed
hydrated before taking Mugwort or else you can potentially get a slight
stomachache due to the fact that this herb requires a bit more water than some
in order to move through your digestive system.

Mugwort with Honey:

Another great way to increase dream vividness and increase
your dream recall is to take 1 – 2 tablespoons of honey along with Mugwort shortly before going to
bed. Combining these two together is sure to enhance your dreaming experience to a whole new level. On night’s that you try this, please just take this one piece of advice – BUCKLE UP.

When I’ve experimented with this, I’ve reached high level
lucid dreams with insane dream control.  I find that my dreams take on an interesting eccentricity too, where my imagination seems to go unbridled.  

Purchasing Mugwort:

Finding high quality Mugwort is important and not all sources are created equal. Below is a high quality source of Mugwort that’s also vegan friendly and in capsule form for easy use.  You can also find Mugwort in a tea form at certain herb shops, or perhaps even find the plant growing near small body of water in your vicinity 😉 Keep in mind that the tea form of Mugwort is just a little less potent but it really does have a great taste and goes great with honey.

Other Supplements that can be combined with Mugwort:

There are a variety of other supplements that can greatly increase the effects of Mugwort.  For instance, when 5 HTP (known to increase serotonin levels) is combined with Mugwort, your dream cycle in the morning hours especially can be greatly enhanced.  The lucid dreaming supplement Dream Leaf works in the way it does, partly because it contains Mugwort but it adds a second batch of supplements, which increase conscious awareness in a variety of ways.  More on that can be found here.

In the meantime, sweet dreams!  Feel free to reach out with any questions or even just to tell me about your experience.

​R.E.M. Sleep Optimization: An Oil Change for the Mind

Each and every organism on Earth shares a common need for
sleep. The role of dreaming and our need
to relax is somehow embedded into our DNA.
And while the time we spend in the dreamscape certainly is a time of
rest, it’s also a busy place of maintenance and rejuvenation. Just like a car requires an occasional oil
change, so does the brain require regular dream sleep. And our mental state as well as physical
performance is greatly reduced when we neglect our dream sleep for too long.

At some point in our lives, we’ve all experienced the
effects of sleep deprivation. When it
happens, you just know it. We feel less
quick with our thinking and our words just won’t quite roll off the tongue when
we are experiencing the effects of a missed R.E.M. cycle or two.

So, why do our minds’
struggle when we don’t dream?

The answer is simply that dreaming (on a biological level)
literally cleanses the brain and helps organisms maintain mental clarity. A special cleansing agent is released called
cerebral spinal fluid as soon as we enter into a state of dreaming. And this fluid discards the toxins that the
brain has accumulated since your last sleep cycle.

There’s a lot more to the function of dreaming that deserves
deeper consideration as far as human health is concerned, such as the role of
dreaming in helping us consolidate our memories, restore our emotions, and restore
our sex hormones.

For this reason, I’ve done quite a bit of research on this
topic and would like to share with you several known habits that optimize the
dreaming experience. Here are 5
effective methods to do just that.

1 –Eat Fruits, Vegetables,
and Nuts:

By eating fruits and vegetables, we keep the brain clean by
burning off quality nutrients through out the day. These foods are known to perform much better
as fuel for the brain… much better than low quality meats, and processed
foods.

Sadly, as delicious as fast food can be, it’s just not good
for the dreaming brain and quality dream sleep is often compromised by eating
foods that are difficult to break down, not to mention that they are incredibly
bad for your body.

Nuts especially come into play because they are clean sources
of energy. In fact, they provide the
brain with one of its favorite resources for energy production during sleep –
healthy fat. Since the dreaming brain is
doing some work, it’s good to have a nice amount of potential fuel for the brain
to access during the night and fats are perfect for this because they digest
slowly and tend to be the main resource that our brains seeks out for energy
production during sleep.

Natural supplements can also be a great way to avoid any
deficiencies from your diet that might be conflicting with your sleep
cycle. Just be sure that the sleep
supplement you choose is natural. Prescription medications are not only
dangerous but can often lead to life long dependency.

If you’re looking for a high quality sleep supplement, I
personally recommend trying the Twilune formula. But truly there are thousands of isolated
herbs, and other blends than might be great for you.

Other diet tips for
better dreaming:

-Work off your carbs before going to bed

-Don’t eat for the last 3 hours of the night

-Drink lots of water through out the day (water is also a
cleansing agent that will help keep your body and mind clean)

2 – Establish a
Consistent Sleep Schedule:

The subconscious mind (which is responsible for the dreaming
function) is constantly seeking to automate patterns in our lives. And this can be a blessing or a curse
depending on how you operate. But it’s
important to realize that two parts of the mind operate this way to reduce the
amount of attention necessary for the conscious mind to process. So, when the subconscious mind is trying to
automate a sleep cycle for our wellbeing but we are constantly shifting our
sleep schedule from night to night, it becomes highly unlikely that it will be
able to predict, with any degree of accuracy, when it is time to sleep. So, in order to combat this, it’s best to
train your subconscious mind through conscious habits that introduce a
consistent routine.

Other quick tips for
a better sleep schedule:

-Go to sleep at roughly the same time every night.

-Consistently go through the same nightly routine before
going to sleep

-Spend time outside

3 – Avoid LCD screens
at night:

People greatly underestimate the importance of this tip
whenever it comes up. So LCD screens
mess with your sleep cycle. The reason
they are so bad for your brain is because they interfere with the release of
sleep hormones before you go to bed.
When it starts getting dark, your body will naturally release melatonin
and other chemicals into the brain, which cause sleep. So, if you’re ever staring at your phone late
at night and begin to wonder why you can’t fall asleep, just remember that your
brain is being told (BY YOU) not to shut off.
So, put aside your phone for at least a good 30 – 60 minutes before you
plan on being asleep.

4 – READ BEFORE BED

This tip is anecdotal but I would swear by its
effectiveness. Here’s why. Reading is one of the best ways you can
improve your focus and is also a great way to calm your brain from other
external stimuli. Similar to the idea
that “dog’s are happier when they learn obedience” there is an interesting truth
about the relationship we share with our brain.
In all actuality, the brain functions better with discipline. It operates better as we focus, and it
actually get’s more exhausted when we don’t zone in on more precise mental
performances, such as reading, writing, or anything else that requires
focus.

Reading as a sleep
optimization technique has repeatedly proved its effectiveness to me and many
other people. I recommend reading
something in page form that is meaningful to you because you’ll have an easier
time focusing. As you do this more and
more, you’ll find that you have an easier time relaxing right before you go to
sleep. But just as importantly, you’ll
be structuring your thoughts better and this often helps you accelerate the
dreaming function.

Personally, I find that my dreams often involve the content
that I’m reading before bed, which can be fun to watch especially if you have
any interest in learning more about your dreams and the way they express
metaphors from your daily life.

5 – Keep a dream
journal

If you have an interesting dream, write it down. As you think about your dreams more, you’ll
find more and more ways that they truly do enrich your life. And as you do this, you’ll train your mind to
remember your dreams better, which can help you to make subjective decisions
about the daily behavior in your personal life that is either increasing or
decreasing your dreaming experience. You
can then start making personal changes to your routine in order to optimize
your R.E.M. sleep on a regular basis.

Keep in mind that while we all share common ground in things
that help us to dream, we are each slightly different and require a unique
understanding of ourselves in order to truly progress as a dreamer, or even
just to get better R.E.M. sleep.

Achieving Meaningful Dreams and the Power of Intent

I’ve
learned that meditation, yoga, and lucid dreaming all share one thing in common – when you identify a desired result for each of these mind expanding practices, they become much more meaningful in nature.  

In a lucid dream for instance, you have a unique opportunity to
engage with your subconscious mind, which is already a pretty amazing thing to do just by itself. But there truly is an enourmous world inside yourself that you have the opportunity to explore.  As you specify the things you’d like to dream about, prior to falling asleep – your dreams can often take on a whole new level of amazing and you can often attract meaningful experiences.

Whether you wish to find answers to heartffelt questions, experience something totally new in a dream, or even just have a fun time, your lucid dreams can truly become transformational once you’ve decide what you’d like your lucid dreaming experiences to be like.

Before falling asleep, try to imagine the possibilities that you wish to explore within the dreamscape and then consciously identify a few activities you’d like to achieve as soon as you become lucid.  Sometimes it is even smart to write them down on a notepad or even a dream journal if you have one. Just by identifying certain activities that you’d like to participate in, you can truly make meaningful things happen in your dreams rather than just letting opportunities go to waste.

When you don’t establish a dreaming intent prior to falling asleep, your dreams can sometimes feel a little flat, which can be a huge bummer for anyone who looks forward to positive dreaming experiences.

Just remember that your conscious mind does in fact communicate with subconscious mind on some level when it comes to your dreams.  Perhaps tonight before you fall asleep, you can give it a try and see if your intent has any impact on the dreams you end up having.

A “change your life” Guide to Dream Journaling

So you’ve decided to start a dream journal. Get ready to change your life.  And yes, I’m being totally serious.  Maybe you’ve read our articles on the subject, a
friend convinced you to try it, or you’re just interested in paying a
little closer attention to your dreams. In any case, you’re here, you’re ready to start writing and you’re about to change your life.

Wow…So now what?

On the basic level, all you need to do is begin by writing down your dreams in as much detail as you can
remember as soon as you wake up. Simple enough.  This in itself is tremendously beneficial for getting you tuned in to the intuitive power of your dreaming mind.

However, if you’re interested in diving deeper into that mysterious dimension, there are
plenty of ways to add to your dream journaling practice and get even more out of the experience!

Draw Your Dreams

If your first thought upon reading the heading is “but I can’t draw,” fear not! The best thing I’ve
ever drawn in my entire life was a cartoon snail back in the 6th grade; beyond that, stick figures are about as good as
it gets for me.

But by drawing in your dream journal, whether through detailed sketches or crude cave drawings like mine, you can really unlock
the visual memory of your dreams that a verbal description might not be capable of. And since dreams are
primarily visual anyway, recording the visual impressions of a dream can add an important layer
to your description and help to create a more complete record that you can return to. You might even notice something
in your drawing that you didn’t consciously notice in the dream!

After your next dream, try drawing the primary image of the dream. This can be an image that
appeared frequently in the dream, the main character or feature, or simply the most vivid and
striking image. Dream theorist Ernest Hartmann suggested in his Contemporary Theory of
Dreaming that all dreams come down to a singular image that carries the emotional weight or
significance of the dream.

If that doesn’t quite work for you, try drawing an abstract picture of the energy or feeling of the
dream or even just the physical place(s) where the dream took place. And if you’re super ambitious, go for all
three!

Interpret them

Dream interpretation has been a popular topic for centuries, and can often be the most fun part
of dreaming. After you write and/or draw out your dreaming experience, take a few minutes to
think about what the dream might mean to you.

Identify Symbols

This is where dream symbols become useful to identify. By jotting down a few of the primary symbols (objects,
people, places… so, nouns, basically) you can find specific meaning/ origins of your dream that often have interesting correlations to your
life, even if just on an emotional level. There are also plenty of dream symbol dictionaries on the Internet that can sometime help.
You might be surprised how meaningful a strange or seemingly nonsensical dream can turn out
to be.

Change Your Routine

Dream journaling is a practice like any other and requires self-discipline and time. Build it into
your night and morning routines – spend a few minutes before you go to sleep setting an
intention for your dreams each night, and then set your alarm ten or fifteen minutes early and
dedicate the very first part of your day to journaling.

Your lifestyle during the day can also be altered slightly to enhance your dreaming; check out
our article “5 Foods that Can Cause Dreaming and Improve REM Sleep”. 

For Lucid Dreaming

Dream journaling is generally accepted as one of the most important and time-tested techniques for lucid dream induction! And just FYI, in case you don’t know what a lucid dream is – this is a dream in which you know that you are dreaming. These dreams are often sought after because you can take control of the dream and experience truly amazing things through the tremendous power of your imagination.  

Through dream journaling, you can keep track of your progress through specific dreams, the
degree of lucidity you experienced in each successive dream, and record your ideas for future
dreaming actities you’d like to try.  Perhaps you’d like to visit the moon! In fact, I better write that one down.  

Really though, before your next lucid dream, try writing out a set of goals. The next morning, revisit that list and
make a note of which goals you accomplished, which ones you didn’t, and any new ideas or
goals for the next dream.

Don’t Overthink It!

While many dreams can be full of meaning and ripe for interpretation, everyone has super weird
dreams that seem to mean absolutely nothing. However, in retrospect, you can often untangle amazing information from your dreams as you journey further from them through time.  For this reason, it’s useful to write down as many dreams as you can.  Just don’t worry
if you can’t figure one out right away! Our brains are complex and mysterious, and to be totally honestly, sometimes I dream things like that I’m bowling with George Washington and I truly don’t think it has any significance to my life whatsoever. (He totally
cheated, for the record.)

Ultimately, giving your dreams this kind of detailed attention will train your brain to have more
vivid and detailed dreams, to recall them for longer periods of time, and to have even more
active and involved lucid dreaming experiences.  As you continue you explore your dreams more and more, I can promise you that you will soon be amazed by the incredible intuition of your subconscious mind, and will find all kinds of interesting applications to your daily life that come directly from dreams, which truly can change your life.

So dive in! 

Oh, and this just in… The Dream Atlas just barely launched on Kickstarter and is off to a great start!  This is the perfect tool for anyone who is seeking to engage with their dreams more deeply.  Check it out!  Early bird pricing is going on right now.