Posted-By: auto-faq 220.127.116.11
Revision: version 1.5, last changed 1995/01/21 01:48:08
This is the last in a series of four postings of Frequently Asked
Questions for the alt.dreams and alt.dreams.lucid newsgroups. It
contains a lot of bibliographic and other "pointer" info from a wide
variety of sources.
Subject: 7. Research, further reading, dreaming help etc. ++++++++++++
Subject: 7.1. What are the various gadgets to help you in lucid dreaming?
[by email@example.com (Pamela Ryan)]
These descriptions are straight from the Lucidity Institute's
DreamLink: Computerized mask provides a convenient state-testing
procedure and delivers light cues when you estimate you are
NovaDreamer: New computerized biofeedback mask provides a convenient
state-testing procedure and delivers light cues when you are
DreamLight: Computerized biofeedback device monitors your sleep and
delivers light and sound cues when you are dreaming. $1200
These devices are not a means for "automagically" getting you lucid
dreams. Rather they provide signs that help you recognize your dreams
by means of external influence. Using these dream-signs is still up to
yourself and requires quite some amount of training.
Software to make your computer screen act as a flashlight: the
hyperreal.com (not techno.stanford.edu any more) WWW/FTP server has
this, among much other interesting stuff. I know of an MSDOS program
called "flasher" which can be found there and another similar thing
for Linux that someone has promised to upload. Such programs can
perhaps be used as a replacement for the less sophisticated sort of
eqipment as described above.
Subject: 7.2. How do various drugs/nutritional components influence dreaming?
[Section compiled from answers by various people]
[By firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Turner)]
AMINO ACIDS & SUPPLEMENTS
Saw some mention of Taurine recently. B vitamins (6 and 12)? I've
used Choline+Inositol combo w/some success.
Inositol is a B-vitamin (12?) that aids in the uptake of Choline,
which is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Choline
is present in lecithin, which is itself present in egg whites, soy
products, and other sources of protein. One would have to constantly
glut oneself with tofu in order to get the equivalent of 500mg tablet
of Choline+ Inositol, however.
Fish contains some substance that also helps, forget what it's called,
though. Cheese (esp. cheddar, for some reason) and bananas to a
lesser extent, contain some stuff that can cause wild dreams. Soy,
eggs, etc., as mentioned above.
TEAS and HERBS
Have tried various teas and herbs, but most were either ineffective or
unspeakably vile. (DON'T like vivid dreams of large bugs burrowing
through my head, thank you very much.) Would be willing to try again
with some guidance, though.
Prescription drugs of various kinds can have dream effects; so much so
that most sleep/dream labs have some kind of funding from pharm.
companies, if they aren't owned and operated by them outright. Never-
theless, prescription drug labels seldom warn of "nightmares"; perhaps
that all falls under "sleep disturbances."
Barbiturates can suppress REM. Don't know about tranqs & anti-
depressants, though. New Wave antidepressions (Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil)
are serotonin- effecting, so some effect might be expected.
LEGAL PSYCHOACTIVE DRUGS
Both caffeine and alcohol can suppress REM - odd, since one is a CNS
stimulant, the other a CNS depressant. Nicotine? Don't know.
ILLEGAL PSYCHOACTIVE DRUGS
Controlled/illegal substances have been studied vis-a-vis dreams, but
hazy on the details I learned. (Was high at the time, I guess....)
THC can suppress REM somewhat. Various psychedelics effect aspects of
serotonin metabolism. Speed keeps you from sleeping; amphetamine
psychosis might be drug-induced-anxiety + REM deprivation. Newer
stuff, such as illegal/controlled "smart drugs", "designer drugs",
etc. I don't know about, but it would be surprising if they had no
[By email@example.com (Pamela Ryan)]
Someone posted a while back that a combination of Choline (600 mg,
equals 1429 mg Choline Bitartrate) and Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5,
500 mg) boosts dream recall.
[By firstname.lastname@example.org (P. ZINKEN)]
Point is i am at one side a notorious coffee-addict, and on the other
side one who smokes a joint or a hookah from time to time. I'll
describe my states of dreaming for both, because they are rather
Under influence of caffeine (and i mean rather much, after drinking,
for example, 10 to 15 0.25l cups), i tend to sleep very light. If i
get to dream it usually is a lucid dream. Thus, it seems caffeine
changes the conciousness while sleeping. Also, i tend to have more
nightmares if i drink too much coffee.
There are times when i like to smoke some weed or hasjiesj and then go
to bed stoned (on these days i usually smoke between 0.5 and 0.75
grams) It does influence the dream state very heavy. Hasjiesj has the
tendency of relaxing you, and also has a tendency to make emotions
stronger. While dreaming this results in very real-feeling dreams.
Last night i smoked about a half gram of Noorderlicht, a kind of weed
grown here in Eindhoven, and after going to bed and falling to sleep
(almost instantly) i dreamt something rather silly, but i couldn't
help thinking it was the real-world instead of a dream.
Thus, hasjiesj makes the dream stronger, more deep. Problem is, a
nightmare will seem more real too. Also, it seems to make it more
difficult to dream lucid (i am able to dream lucid).
Well, this one is the one i get at the most. After a long day of
working and coffee-drinking, i sometimes let myself go and make a
blow. This results in a combination of an up-drug and a
down-drug. And, strangest of things, this combination does never
result in no-drug.
The caffeine still leaves the property of easily getting into a lucid
dream, while the hasjiesj makes the sleep very deep and the dreams
very intense. I've yet to wake up from getting into lucidity while
under influence of hasjiesj.
Overal conclusion from my side thus is, drugs do have a certain effect
on dreaming. And there is quite a big difference between uppers and
[By email@example.com (Bryan Byun)]
My method isn't the healthiest, so it's not something I want to
experiment on often, although reading your FAQ reminded me of it, and
I might try it again sometime.
Anyway, this is the exact method I use:
1. Stay up late, past your normal sleeping time, until you are very,
very tired. Do not get into bed until you are ready to sleep.
2. Just before getting into bed, take from 2-4 caffeine tablets of the
dosage included in Vivarin brand stimulants (I don't know the exact
dosage), depending on your tolerance for caffeine.
It's my personal theory that what happens is that your body falls
asleep and begins the REM cycle...then, the caffeine stimulates your
brain (or at least irritates it) so that your conscious mind awakens.
Normally, so would your body, but if you sleep late enough, your body
will be so fatigued that the fact of your brain awakening won't be
enough to rouse it; and, if you take the right amount of caffeine, the
stimulant effect will be just enough to wake up your mind, without
forcing it completely awake.
Anyway, I don't know if I would recommend this as a method of
attaining lucid dreaming, but it has worked for me.
The Kava Kava root, a traditional drug from the Polynesian islands, is
little known but highly recommendable. It is said to take away stress
and tension, very mildly tranquilizing while clearing and sharpening
thoughts. Also told to help dreaming, especially for lucid dreaming
exercises. From my own experience, it causes a deeper but shorter(!)
sleep with more intense dreams.
[The following holds for Germany, I don't think other countries are
much different.] Kava Kava root is available from pharmacies, although
not a "standard" drug and sometimes it takes time for the pharmacist
to obtain supply. At least one company makes capsules with Kava Kava
root extracts ("Kava ratiopharm"). They are sold as a stress reliever.
Though not as effective as the whole root, perhaps the method of
choice for many - the traditional way of chewing the roots for a long
time does not suit Western people, who typically find the taste rather
bad. Attention: do not combine with alcohol, it increases the
undesired effects of the latter (same with barbiturates, etc.)
Subject: 7.3. What about the dream experiments on alt.dreams?
A. Several experiments have been conducted to find out whether there
are shared dream experiences. On alt.dreams was posted a description
of a particular place, and people encouraged to get there in their
dreams. Dream logs were collected via e-mail by a person not involved
in the actual experiment, who compared the reports and looked for
similarities. Of course, reports of different people having
conversation about the same topic, or people leaving items there and
others picking up the same items (as suggested in the experiments)
were what was looked after. The last of these experiments ("SS
Dreamers"), held in Dec.92-Jan.93, was a failure. The most recent
"Cafe Dreamers" experiment [Dec.93] results have remained unpublished.
(We should get them out soon, I'll take the necessary steps...) Other
experiments, especially "Dream Train" of [when was that exactly?] have
been more successful. [Does anybody archive the reports?] These
experiments do not meet all strict scientific criteria (cf. section
5.3.). However, for the people involved, they have always been
Subject: 7.4. Books, articles and other stuff to read
Here comes a random collection of references contributed by various
people. I don't know the bigger part of them...
[Recommendation by firstname.lastname@example.org who is also
Carlos Castaneda: THE ART OF DREAMING, 1993
Another very valuable part of Castaneda's work, written from an
extraordinarily lucid viewpoint and with extraordinarily healthy
spirit. It is a self-beneficent act to read this one, and for an
open-minded person, there are many words that will surely function as
A diary-type document that contains clear explanations of powerful
dreaming sessions and journeys, and descriptions of Castaneda's
conversations with his own teacher.
Statements pointing the universe in which we are dwelling. Statements
that feed the flame of hope, telling about the living beings'
possibilities giving practical, abstract advices how to reach them.
Highly recommended not only for those who use their dreams as a
playground, but for everyone.
ISBN 0-06-017051-4 (cloth)
260 pages, approx. 6,25x9,5 inches
For information, address:
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022.
A leatherbound signed first edition of the
book has been published by The Easton press.
[Recommendations by email@example.com (Emily Stroppa)]
Two books I have found invaluable: I wanted to mention The Dream Game
by Ann Faraday, published 1974. Also, Breakthrough Dreaming by
Dr. Gayle Delaney published 1991 by Bantam. A third book I have found
very interesting is Where People Fly And Water Runs Uphill by Jeremy
Taylor published 1992 by Warner Books.
[Contributed by Jouni Smed, article reference]
Blackmore, S. J. 1988. A Theory of lucid dreams and OBEs. In Conscious
Mind, Sleeping Brain, 373-387, ed. J. Gackenbach and S.
LaBerge. New York: Plenum.
--------- 1991. Lucid Dreaming: Awake in Your Sleep?. Skeptical Inquirer,
Delage, Y. 1919. Le Reve. Paris: Les Presses Universitaires de France.
Fox, O. 1962. Astral Projection. New York: University Books.
Gackenbach, J., and J. Bosveld. 1989. Control Your Dreams. New York:
Harper & Row.
Gackenbach, J., and S. LaBerge, eds. 1988. Conscious Mind, Sleeping Brain.
New York: Plenum.
Green, C. E. 1968. Lucid Dreams. London: Hamish Hamilton.
Hearne, K. 1978. Lucid Dreams: An Electrophysiological and Psychological
Study. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Hull.
--------- 1990. The Dream Machine. Northants: Aquarian.
Irwin, H. J. 1988. Out-of-body experiences and dream lucidity: Empirical
perspectives. In Conscious Mind, Sleeping Brain, 353-371,
ed. J. Gackenbach and S. LaBerge. New York: Plenum.
LaBerge, S. 1985. Lucid Dreaming. Los Angeles: Tarcher.
LaBerge, S. and W. Dement. 1982a. Voluntary control of respiration during
REM sleep. Sleep Research, 11:107.
--------- 1982b. Lateralization of alpha activity for dreamed singing and
counting during REM sleep. Psychophysiology, 19:331-332.
LaBerge, S., W. Greenleaf, and B. Kerzierski. 1983. Physiological responses
to dreamed sexual activity during lucid REM sleep.
Price, R. F., and D. B. Cohen. 1988. Lucid dream induction: An empirical
evaluation. In Conscious Mind, Sleeping Brain, 105-134,
ed. J. Gackenbach and S. LaBerge. New York: Plenum.
Schatzman, M., A. Worsley, and P. Fenwick. 1988. Correspondence during
lucid dreams between dreamed and actual events. In
Conscious Mind, Sleeping Brain, 155-179, ed. J. Gackenbach
and S. LaBerge. New York: Plenum.
Tart, C. 1988. From spontaneous event to lucidity: A review of attempts to
consciously control nocturnal dreaming. In Conscious Mind,
Sleeping Brain, 67-103, ed. J Gackenbach and S. LaBerge.
New York: Plenum.
Tholey, P. 1983. Techniques for controlling and manipulating lucid dreams.
Perceptual and Motor Skills, 57:79-90.
Van Eeden, F. 1913. A study of dreams. Proceedings of the Society for
Psychical Research, 26:431-461.
[Reference by firstname.lastname@example.org ( gj student 156879)]
"Consciousness and Abilities of Dream Characters Observed
During Lucid Dreaming", Perceptual and Motor skills, 1989, vol 68(2)
[Recommendation by email@example.com (Glenn Engstrand)]
By the way, LUCID DREAMING IN 30 DAYS is an interesting book and I
recommend it highly but only to those who can tolerate the new-age
packaging. It combines modern dream techniques of LaBerge et. al.
(like dream incubation, self-hypnosis and other "key-phrase"
conditioning techniques) with the ancient traditions of the Tibetans
(ostensibly), Yaqi Indian Shamanism, totemic art and sympathetic
magick. I cannot say that I have lucid dreamed (in the bottom-up
sense) since reading the book but I can say that my dream-life is much
richer because of reading the book.
_Lucid Dreams In 30 Days: The Creative Sleep Program_
Keith Harary, Ph.D. and Pamela Weintraub
St. Martin's Paperbacks
[Recommendation by firstname.lastname@example.org (Matthew Parry)]
Freud, S.; Ed. Strachey, J. & Richards, A.; INTRODUCTORY LECTURES
ON PSYCHOANALYSIS, and THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS; Trans. Strachey,
J., (London, Penguin books Ltd., The Penguin Freud library, 1991).
The Introductory Lectures is probably the best read of the two
books as it also has sections on parapraxes (slips of the tongue etc)
and neuroses. The Interpretation of Dreams however, is more suited to
someone who is interested in Freuds theories, Freud considered this
his greatest work because of its complete exposition of his theories
at that time.
[Recommendation by: email@example.com]
Here's a book that some may like or find helpful: Dreams, Symbols, and
Psychic Power; by Alex Tanous & Timothy Gray; Bantam books, 1990. It
was fairly informative, although personally, i found some of the
symbol interpretations a bit unusual/far fetched. Most are interesting
and offer at the least some insight . It deals more with interpreting
dreams as opposed to lucid ones, though.
[Recommendation by Gary S. Trujillo]
/Oneirocritica of Artemidorus Daldianus/ (2nd Century AD).
Oneirocritica is the most comprehensive, the most sought after and the
most quoted book on dream interpretation to have been written from
antiquity to the present times. This is more than a comprehensive
dream dictionary.... The extensively revised index pages of this
second edition are designed to be of help to curious readers trying to
make sense of their dreams. Also from a desire to be helpful, dream
subjects or symbols of which Artemidorus wrote have been highlighted
in bold face by the publisher.
THE INTERPRETATION OF DREAMS
Oneirocritica of Artemidorus Daldianus (2nd Century AD),
translated by Robert J. White
2nd Edition, 9" x 6", 344 pages, 2.5 Lbs.,
Hardcover $36.50, ISBN 0-944558-03-8,
(To appear 10/90)
ORIGINAL BOOKS, INC.
P.O. Box 2948
Torrance, CA 90509, USA
[Recommended by Jay E. Vinton <JEV@CU.NIH.GOV>]
i just wanted to mention another very good book by jeremy taylor (the
faq mentions a different one of his). the one i have read is 'dream
work, techniques for discovering the creative power in dreams',
paulist press, ramsey, n.j., 1983.
it talks about techniques for recalling dreams, working on them by
yourself or in groups, lucid dreaming etc. it is very practical and
insightful and full of wonderful examples. it also has an extensive
[Recommended by firstname.lastname@example.org (Matthew Parry)]
Rycroft, C. THE INNOCENCE OF DREAMS, (London: The Hogarth press,
1979). Has a good introduction to and criticism of Freud and Jung's
theories with some Physiological research into dreaming. He then
introduces his own theory of dreaming and gives a list of dream
[References by email@example.com (Pamela Ryan)]
"Dreams That Come True" is a book by David Ryback, PhD and Letitia
Sweitzer, a report of some research into the subject of psychic
dreams. Originally a skeptic, Dr. Ryback administered a survey to
more than 400 students, and discovered that more than two-thirds of
the group reported having a psychic dream. After studying the
accounts, and applying some very strict criteria to them, Ryback
determined that, at the very least, one in twelve people experiences a
psychic dream compelling enough to convince most people of its
reality. Informal surveys of people I know have borne out this
Dream Periodicals: I'm pretty sure the addresses are current, but the
subscription rates might not be. The first two are mythic, mystical,
personal approaches to dreams and dream work; the latter is a
professional journal covering new findings in the field of dream
DREAM NETWORK: A JOURNAL EXPLORING DREAMS & MYTH
1337 Powerhouse Lane, Suite 22
Moab, UT 84532
$22/year (4 issues) in the US
$28/year Canada, Library or Mexico
$36/year Foreign Air
Telephone: (801) 259-5936
NIGHT VISION: A DREAM JOURNAL
P.O. Box 402
Questa, NM 87556
$10/year (4 issues) in the US, Canada, or Mexico
$22/year -- all other foreign subscriptions
DREAMING: JOURNAL OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR THE STUDY OF DREAMS
Human Sciences Press
233 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013-1578
4 issues $40 in the US (if the subscription is for personal use)
Outside the US, $47
For professional/library use: $110 in US
Outside of US $130
*FREE if you join the ASD... [see below]
There is also an on-line newsletter about dreams (it may turn into a
private mailing list, but is currently in newsletter format):
To subscribe, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or
[recommendation by email@example.com (Keimo Leppihalme)]
Being-in-dreaming / Florinda Donner. -- 1st ed.
ISBN 0-06-250233-6 (alk. paper)
1. Witchcraft--Mexico. 2. Donner, Florinda. I. Title.
A natural dreamer's autobiographical account of her personal
involvement with a group of rigorously disciplined - but not
routinized - people, who are highly developed and thoroughly devoted
practicioners of one of the most sophisticated Arts, the Art of
Fairly inspiring, defiantly challenging. Practice, a hang-up for a
lazy dreamer. But reading of these possibilities can't ever injure.
[Reference by ot]
What readers in and around Germany might check out: Ulrich Schmitz,
"Ich denke also bin ich", iX 7/1994, p.118. [iX is a computer
magazine.] Interview with a prize-winning young researcher who
explores the possibilities of making real-world use out of lucid
dreaming. Most interesting is that this seems to hit the scientific
[I'm still looking for more book recommendations. If you know a piece
of literature that should be mentioned here, let me know! -ot]
Two other rather extensive FAQ documents are worth mentioning here:
The ones from alt.atheism and sci.skeptic (both posted regularly in
news.answers and archived on rtfm.mit.edu). The former contains stuff
about religious experiences, as well as a very well-written guide to
logical reasoning (worth reading for all USENET participants!). The
latter tells much about scientific methods, how to back up research
results and avoid obvious and not-so-obvious traps, recommended to
anyone who goes into dream research.
7.5. Organizations, etc.
[Recommended by firstname.lastname@example.org (Pamela Ryan)]
Association for the Study of Dreams (ASD).
The ASD is a nonprofit, international, multidisciplinary organization
dedicated to the pure and applied investigation of dreams and dreaming.
Members include people from many different fields: anthropology,
literature, education, fine arts, medicine, psychology, religion,
and social work. Laypeople are invited to join. They publish a
scientific journal (Dreaming) and sponsor annual conferences, which
are usually attended by most of the major "dream personalities".....
LaBerge, Taylor, Garfield, Delaney, Hobson, Krippner, etc.
Association for the Study of Dreams
P.O. Box 1600
Vienna, VA 22183
Subject: FAQ Redistribution policy
Finally, an apparently necessary small note about this FAQ in general:
I don't object against redistributing this document on BBSs, CDs or
other media, but if you do so, leave the text and identification info
unadulterated. In particular, distribute all the parts at once, leave
the "Revision" header lines intact, don't delete any references to the
various authors of the text, don't arbitrarily shorten the text. If
you make any kind of excerpts, make sure to get the reference to the
author correct (esp. for parts 3 and 4). -ot