Today’s guest author Stefan discusses How Cannabis and Alcohol can affect your Lucid Dreams. Can drinking beer or smoking weed help You in any way with Lucid Dreaming? Read on!
Disclaimer: Neither this website nor authors of this article are encouraging usage of illegal (or any other) substances. This article is for educational purposes only. Use this material at your own risk.
Today we’re going to talk about things that can DAMAGE your Lucid Dreams, as opposed to enhance them.
Specifically, we’re talking about ‘REM suppressants’.
Don’t worry, I’ll go into detail about all of this, and tell you –
- What a REM suppressant is, and how to avoid them
- A weird ‘good’ side effect of REM suppressants
- How alcohol affects your dream life
- What to do if you smoke a lot of cannabis and want to Lucid Dream
I’m assuming that by reading this you know a little bit about Lucid Dreaming, and dreams in general.
You probably know that dreams mostly occur during ‘REM’ sleep (Rapid eye movement), and that this REM sleep occurs about 4-5 times a night towards the end of your sleep cycles.
The sleep cycles towards the END of the night usually have the LONGEST periods of REM, and this usually is just before you wake up in the morning.
So, how do Cannabis and Alcohol affect this situation?
To start off, we need to understand that they’re both what are known as ‘REM Suppressants’.
What is a REM suppressant?
A REM suppressant is something that reduces or even STOPS your REM sleep. They can do this with varying strengths and some things affect it more than others, but cannabis and alcohol are both REM suppressants.
They literally stop you having REM sleep, which stops you dreaming, up to a point. This is bad. This is especially bad if you want to have Lucid Dreams, as you need to be able to become self aware in that REM sleep stage.
It’s pretty hard to have a Lucid Dream if you’re basically stopping almost ALL dreams by taking one of these substances right?
Right. Don’t worry though, it’s not all doom and gloom, and I’ll get to the positive side of all this in a little while.
The thing you should realise here is that the body NEEDS REM sleep, the exact reasons are unclear, but the body and mind do need this period of time where you’re dreaming and your mind is able to sort through your thoughts and memories.
Without it, you feel weird in the morning and might feel like you’ve ‘woke up on the wrong side of bed’. So, REM sleep is important and these substances (among others) can reduce or stop it, so what?
Well, there is a way to get round this situation and STILL have dreams, even Lucid Dreams despite taking these things.
The weird ‘good’ side effect of REM suppressants
Like I said before, the body needs REM sleep, so much so that when you stop yourself having it by taking a suppressant, the body builds up what’s called a ‘sleep debt’.
This is like an I.O.U note left for your body by your mind.
Your body needs to ‘get back’ the REM sleep it lost and it will do this by throwing you into a deep period of REM sleep when it gets the chance.
Usually this ‘chance’ is whenever the REM suppressant has left your body. The next question becomes all about how long it takes certain substances to leave your body.
The half life of alcohol is a little shorter than that of Cannabis, so you’re more likely to have a dream during the ‘REM rebound’ after a night of drinking than you are after a night of smoking. That being said, after smoking, if you stop completely for 2-3 days, you’ll also get a REM rebound.
This REM rebound will last anything from 1-2 hours, as opposed to the usual 20-45 minutes. (It can vary). This is GREAT!
Think what you could do in that much dream time.
A lot I’m guessing. I know I can! Dream time can seem distorted as well, so one or two hours can seem like forever. This will allow you to have long complex dreams, which are likely to be Lucid if you normally practice induction techniques and perform reality checks.
I’ve come home after a night of drinking sometimes and had the most insane Lucid Dreams ever, simply because I’m experiencing a REM rebound. Sometimes it can be really quite profound how much detail and experience you can fit into this REM rebound period.
Check out Movies featuring Dreams
That’s not to say I’m suggesting everyone go out and drink simply to experience this REM rebound, but it definitely happens. HOWEVER, this is only up to a point. I find that if you overdo the drinking, and have too much alcohol in your bloodstream, the body can’t process it all before you wake up and you don’t have ANY REM sleep that night.
You’ll feel terrible, (Probably as bad as you would normally feel with a hangover) but a little bit worse mentally because you didn’t have REM sleep. The best solution is to not drink ‘too much’.
Cannabis is slightly different but it works in the same way. You take the substance, it reduces your REM sleep and then when the body has processed and expelled the substance from your bloodstream and body, you get REM rebound.
It takes longer with Cannabis. Sometimes, depending on the strength of the Cannabis it can take days for you to actually get the proper REM rebound, but it will happen. Some people find that even after a couple of days after a heavy smoking session, they get CRAZY dreams.
How to still have dreams while taking Cannabis and Alcohol
If you’re set on taking these substances, despite the health risks (Mainly with Alcohol) then you should be aware of the things I just mentioned about REM rebound.
If you WANT to have dreams, or Lucid dreams, you need to be aware of the half life of the substances you’re taking. It’s slightly different for everyone, as no two bodies are the same. Generally, alcohol processes faster than Cannabis, but this can vary.
Maybe establish a pattern, so drink two days of the week, then Lucid dream the other days, or if you smoke, smoke once a week, then don’t smoke anything the other days in order to ride the ‘REM rebound wave’.
Hopefully this post has helped you understand more about REM suppressants and how they work.
Author Bio – Stefan is a Lucid Dreamer and loves things like travel and skydiving. HE has a website teaching people to control their dream life at ‘How To Lucid Dream’ (http://howtolucid.com)