Lucid dreaming is conscious dreamwork. It is the conscious awareness that one is dreaming while in a dream and the directing/exploration of that dream. I would lucid dream quite frequently as a child, although I had no idea what I was doing. It was not until much later that I became informed about lucid dreams and actively sought to cultivate them. Unfortunately, by this time lucid dreaming was something that rarely (and I mean RARELY) occurred. Even after reading many fine books on the techniques of lucid dream induction, I found myself unable to induce lucidity in the dream state with any large degree of success. Today, I am lucky if I have one lucid dream within a year’s time.
Unsatisfied with the rate of lucidity I have so far achieved, I constantly look for new ways to induce a lucid dream. Recently, I discovered a new technique (well , new to me anyway) for inducing a lucid dream. It is a very passive technique and requires only that you relax while listening to a recording of a sound file containing binaural beats. Binaural beats are “sounds” that are ‘heard” in the brain as a result of listening to two minutely different sounds in each ear (headphones are necessary when listening to binaural beats). It has been fairly well established that one’s brainwaves tend to become entrained or synchronized to the frequency of the binaural beats that is being produced by the two similar sounds. Since binaural beats can be produced to mimic the entire spectrum of human brainwave activity, binaural beats can be used to entrain the brain to operate at any of the four (or 5, see postscript below) levels of brainwave activity – namely, beta (active brain), alpha (resting brain), theta (dreaming brain), delta (dreamless sleeping brain).
Many claims have been made as to what can be achieved through the application of binaural beats and their scientific usefulness is hotly debated. Personally, I tend to see some validity in the claims that binaural beats can be used to enter a state of calm or meditative state, since binaural beats can be produced that mimic a calm or meditative mind (i.e., a mind in the alpha range ≈ 8-12 Hz). When it comes to lucid dreams, however, I am a little less certain. Most binaural beats designed for lucid dreaming that I have encountered are formed with beats that range from roughly 2Hz to 12 Hz, which mimic brainwaves that occur during dreamless sleep (delta), times of dreaming (theta) and restful contemplation (alpha). I am less clear as to how such binaural beats can induce a lucid dream, since they simply entrain a brain to enter states that it already does naturally. If one does not naturally become lucid when he/she enters such states, such as when falling to sleep and upon awakening, how is causing the brain to enter these states through binaural beats going to elicit a lucid response. While I have my doubts about the effectiveness of binaural beats to induce a lucid dream, I have been working with them for nearly three days now. So far, there have been no lucid dreams.
Some research into lucid dreams have suggested that lucidity in dreams occurs when a dreaming brain (theta range ≈ 4-7 Hz) is accompanied by a synchronization of the majority of the brain at the uppermost beta level(≈ 40 Hz) and higher, sometimes called the gamma level. With this in mind I will be creating my own binaural beats recording starting at a low alpha frequency and then dropping down into the theta range. After several minutes of theta (dreaming) I will catapult the frequency to gamma in the attempt to become lucid (I wonder if it is possible to create dual binaural beats so that a brain can be entrained to theta and gamma frequencies simultaneously?) Anyway, if you are interested in lucid dreaming, you may want to experiment with some binaural beats. I am a hard nut to crack. Your success may vary.