I have always been curious about the possibility of having dreams in a non REM sleep cycle. Let me share some of my recent experiences. You’re welcome to post your opinions about this topic in the comments below.
Currently, I practice WILD (Wake-Initiated Lucid Dreaming) with a Zeo sleep coach (home EEG, which was designed to improve sleep quality). Zeo is “trained” to recognize the dream stages (deep dream, light dream, REM dream, and awakened stage) and send voice prompts through a headset. You can read a little more about the setup in an article (Meditation feedback”), which will be posted in a few days.
As usual on weekends, I’m practicing WBTB (Wake-Back-To-Bed) and mixing with WILD (Wake-Initiated Lucid Dreaming). Currently, I have some trouble with initiating the dream—it appears quite hard to maintain consciousness during the precise moment of falling asleep.
Initiated Lucid Dream (REM sleep cycle)
Because I was trying so hard, I had a dream in which I was lying in bed in my previous apartment and trying to induce a lucid dream. Everything was a little different, including the color of the furniture and even the print on the carpet, which showed yellow stripes and angles, which was way different from reality. I was still hearing Zeo voice prompts from time to time and don’t really pay attention the fact that this was actually a dream already. None of the reality checks were done at this point either.
Lucid Dream inside another dream (non REM sleep cycle)
Anyway, I closed my eyes, waited several moments, and tried to roll inside my body. Success—this was a good sign. The dream was really close. The next step was to roll out from my body. Success. Then, I was trying to feel a floor or a carpet, a place from which I’m supposed to base my understanding of my surroundings.
Let me give a little explanation of this moment. From my point of view, any movements of myself inside my body are more imaginary than real. For example, try to rotate “yourself” inside your body for 360 degrees. It’s actually quite hard to generate authentic feelings of this even if you have quite an intense imagination. But if you try this right before moving into the dream stage, it will be quite easy and you’ll definitely feel a full rotation cycle. This might be used as an indicator that you’re ready to try some actions towards inducing lucid dreaming like I have done.
After I imaginarily appeared on the floor, I started touching a carpet and imagined how it might feel. After some moments I saw the weird yellow print on a carpet and figured out that this was a poor copy of my previous apartment. This is not the point, though. I’m conscious in the dream and I remember myself, my real story (sometimes even if you become conscious in a dream and try to remember who you are, you might recall a fake story from your dream character, which a little disappointing). In the dream, I moved to the balcony, trying to keep my current state. Everything was dark outside. Trees didn’t have any leaves. I jumped down to the street. Everything was in nearly complete darkness and seemed really abandoned. There wasn’t a single soul on the street except for maybe a few wolves (which were quite tall). One was approaching me and I prepared to punch it with my fist. This punch was supposed to be deadly for the poor monster. Luckily for it, the wolf ran away and didn’t even notice me. So, I went on my way. I’m usually quite peaceful and don’t cause any problems for others without any reason. I have more personal problems I need to solve!
I tried to fly. This worked perfectly, with almost no effort on my part.
And then I heard another voice hint from my little Zeo friend. Unfortunately, I could not maintain the dream state anymore. Everything became dark. I could feel and slightly move my fingers. I was in my bed, completely awake.
The most amazing part of this story is the Zeo graph (shows non REM sleep cycle)
Section 1 shows changes in dream stages. I was in light dream, then switched to deep dream, then went to REM sleep cycle and finally returned to light dream.
Section 2 partially covers the deep dream stage.
Section 3 shows an awakening pattern that is not shown on the graph with the best resolution—it is down below for some reason. Sometimes this happens when the awakening stage is not continuous.
I cannot find any awakening pattern that might be closer to this instance.
The experience of being in a dark environment is one I’ve had before several times, but this one is the first that I was able to catch on a graph.
I’m really interested in any opinion on this!
I haven’t found any similar to dreams in non REM sleep cycle studies yet. I was curious about Tibetan Dream Yoga, which suggests keeping awareness during one’s whole life, including all phases of dreaming. Unfortunately, these guys can’t show you an EEG and all you have to do is to believe them or not.
Have you had similar experiences? Does it sound right for you at all?