Lucid Dreaming and the REM Rebound Effect

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Many interesting things happen to our brain and our body when we sleep. Our biological make up tries to maintain a sleep schedule which is consistent and balanced. In the required deep sleep stage the body rejuvenates and repairs itself. This is so important for us to maintain correct mental and physical wellbeing.

Effects of sleep deprivation

This is clearly evident whenever we experience a period of injury or become unwell. You find that the sleep pattern will alter to include longer and more frequent deeper sleeps, as your body attempts to heal itself. Also you may have noticed that when you deprive yourself of sleep, this can have an adverse effect on your total wellbeing, where you find yourself become easily agitated and you may suffer with a higher level of stress than you are used to.

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Now if you have been practicing various methods to become lucid, you may have noticed that some of them require you to sacrifice your deep sleep, in order to have better and more regular lucid dreams. The following day you may notice a feeling of lethargy and tiredness, which will result in your body craving deep sleep and the next time you go to bed, your depth of sleep will be ever greater. Bear in mind than any methods you choose to become lucid should not be carried out if they have an adverse affect on your overall well being.

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The REM Rebound effect

Now when the deeper stages of sleep occur for longer periods of time, you in effect suppress the REM period. What will happen then is that your body and your brain, will try to make up for this loss of time spent in REM and the next time you sleep you may experience a phenomenon known as REM Rebound. This happens a lot with alcohol abusers or people who smoke marijuana. Both alcohol and the chemical found in marijuana, THC, suppress the periods of REM sleep.

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It is only when the person stops drinking or smoking for a period of time that they will commonly experience an increase in REM activity for a number of nights, having very vivid and prolonged dreams when they sleep. Now while I don’t suggest you employ this method to achieve the REM Rebound effect, this can rapidly increase our success rate in becoming lucid.

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