The term “lucid dreaming” refers to being aware of the dream and dream state while asleep. Some people capable of lucid dreaming are able to influence their dreams, making their dreams happen in a specific, desired way. Floatation tanks can be an optimal venue for lucid dreams. There are many ways to improve or cultivate lucid dreaming abilities, resulting in dreams that feel very real and often provide an out-of-body type of experience. Lucid dreaming can even allow people to consciously have experiences they would never have in real life.
How Does it Work?
When a person is dreaming, the left hemisphere of the brain is shut down. The left hemisphere is responsible for logical thought, sequential thinking, rules, and understanding of time. This is why dreams are so often illogical, jump from one situation to the next with no continuity, and appear to take either no time at all or a surprisingly long amount of time. The right hemisphere, often considered to be the “more creative” hemisphere, is solely responsible for dreaming.
Normal dreams are accompanied by a lack of self-consciousness, meaning an inability to recognize that the situations being experienced are not real. In lucid dreaming, the dreamer is self conscious; in other words, the dreamer is aware he or she is experiencing a dream. This means that he or she can make conscious choices in the dream, instead of simply moving through the dream as a programmed participant or spectator.
How Does a Floatation Tank Help?
A floatation tank, or sensory deprivation chamber, is a tub in which a person lies floating on high density salt water, with no light, no sound, and essentially no sensory input. The lack of external stimuli means the brain does not have to sort through, organize, or identify any outside data, and thus is wholly concentrated on thoughts and images that the brain itself produces.
Many people, after experiencing time in a sensory deprivation chamber, report hallucinations. The brain is so used to interpreting external stimuli that it mistakes internal thoughts for those external stimuli, and interprets them as such. In this way, a person can remain fully conscious but see images, hear sounds, and in all other ways have a thoroughly dreamlike experience.
For some people, these “hyper-lucid dreams” take the form of memories, forgotten or well remembered, and for others, they may appear as cartoon characters, scenes from movies, or more. One way in which the floatation tank promotes this state is by relaxing the body into a state of near hypnagogia, or the state between waking and sleeping. In this state, Theta brainwaves are seen at higher levels, allowing for a great deal of creativity and inspiration.
Contact Northwest Float Center to find out more about floatation and its connection to lucid dreaming.