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Dreams FAQ Pt.4/4: Research, Help, reading recommendations

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Posted-By: auto-faq
Archive-name: dreams-faq/part4
Revision: version 1.5, last changed 1995/01/21 01:48:08
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See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
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 (Pamela Ryan)] These descriptions are straight from the Lucidity Institute's newsletter: DreamLink: Computerized mask provides a convenient state-testing procedure and delivers light cues when you estimate you are dreaming. $195 NovaDreamer: New computerized biofeedback mask provides a convenient state-testing procedure and delivers light cues when you are dreaming. $245 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 (not 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 (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. FOODS 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 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 dream effects. [By (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 (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 different. Caffeine: 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. Hasjiesj: 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). Combination: 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 downers. [By bsbyun@uswnvg.uucp (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. [By ot] 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 interesting experiences.
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 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 trigger. 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. 1st edition ISBN 0-06-017051-4 (cloth) USA $22.00 CANADA $29.50 260 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 (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, 15:362-370 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. Psychophysiology, 20:454-455. 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 ( gj student 156879)] "Consciousness and Abilities of Dream Characters Observed During Lucid Dreaming", Perceptual and Motor skills, 1989, vol 68(2) pages 567-578 [Recommendation by (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 ISBN 0-312-92487-9 [Recommendation by (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:] 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 bibliography. [Recommended by (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 symbols. [References by (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 finding. 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 study. 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 Subscription Department 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): ELECTRIC DREAMS To subscribe, e-mail or [recommendation by (Keimo Leppihalme)] Donner, Florinda. Being-in-dreaming / Florinda Donner. -- 1st ed. ISBN 0-06-250233-6 (alk. paper) 1. Witchcraft--Mexico. 2. Donner, Florinda. I. Title. BF1584.M6D66 1991 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 Dreaming. 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 mainstream. [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 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 (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 (703) 242-8888
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 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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