Sleep certainly is an important part of our lives. Yet, we do it so easily that we rarely think about it. That’s a good thing, and I know, because I’ve seen what happens when you think about it.
I’ve been experimenting for about a week now with so-called “lucid dreaming” (if you don’t know what it is, this article‘s not bad). If you don’t want to read through that whole article, in a nutshell, lucid dreaming is when you realize you’re in a dream while the dream’s in progress. I’ve done it twice, and I must say it’s pretty damn cool. Unfortunately, my lucid dreams have been fuzzy, brief, and rather uncontrolled. So I decided to get some practice.
Now, the normal way to induce a lucid dream is to wake up about five hours after you go to sleep, wake your mind up just enough to control your mind, then go back to bed, and maintain your conscious awareness while you slip back to sleep. But, just like any good American teenager, I decided I didn’t have the patience to wait for five hours (my idea makes less and less sense the more I think about it), and supposedly, you can induce a lucid dream the first time you go to bed at night.
Long story short: it didn’t work. I tried and tried to go to sleep, which is a formula for dire, dire failure. Eventually, I conked out, around 4 A.M. Oh, if only I hadn’t had my early class this morning, a class which mandates that I get up at 6 A.M. Result? Two hours’ sleep.
Since I left high school, I’d almost allowed myself to forget just how much sleep deprivation sucks. The entire morning, I could scarcely pry my eyes open, and my handwriting degenerated even worse than usual. I’m still not sure whether or not my class notes will be legible when it comes time to study them.
Around 9 A.M., the interminable class finally ended, and I hurried to the soda machine before the machine-refiller-guy blocked it. I downed an energy drink called “Adrenaline Rush.” Within a few minutes, in addition to having a very hyperactive bladder, I was finally (mostly) among the living again. It was around this point that I made the amusing observation that sparked this blog entry: I had become like the main character from the movie Crank, staying alive only by keeping myself constantly pumped with artificial stimulants (caffeine, B vitamins, taurine, ginesing, et cetera. Who knew it was possible to put all that crap in one twelve-ounce can?).
So my advice to other people who think they can manually make themselves fall asleep: you’re wrong. Don’t even try it. And for the potential lucid dreamers who read this: in my experience, you can NOT do it at the beginning of the night. Either take a nap and do it then, or wake up in the wee hours of the morning and do it then.