Lucid Dreaming Ledger – Effects of Caffeine and Alcohol on Dreaming
Who knew that writing a dream journal would make me more productive? Wasn’t caffeine supposed to do that? Well, waking up every morning and writing down dreams is having interesting effects on me.
What’s funny about writing a dream journal is that even if I am short on time to write my entries, I have been able to stick to this task, because each morning I wake up, I am trying to recall every bit of detail before the dream is gone. That means that I have set aside a few minutes each day to write, before I begin checking email and even (YIKES) making coffee.
Sometimes, when I am finished with an entry, I will annotate a mention of what I think my sleep felt like the night before. In this way, I have been learning about what happens inside my dreams, but also about how well I am sleeping, which has a very strong influence on our ability to dream.
This will come as no surprise that these factors severely impact my dreaming, in both negative and positive ways:
- Light pollution in the room
- Sleeping schedule
- Timing of dinner against bed time
- What I ate
- What I drank
Today I want to talk about the last item in particular, because it’s been the one that seems to have the biggest impact on my ability to remember dreams, and to approach lucid dreaming.
Anything beyond a cocktail or two glasses of wine resulted in hazy dreams, and in two instances, no recollection of dreams at all.
I was angry about this. I really wanted to recall every dream. I guess moderation through dreaming habits could be a new trend.
Caffeine-wise, I didn’t notice anything dramatic, but I did notice that if I went beyond three cups of coffee in one day, the quality of recall was pretty crap. Again, I was foiled by the delicious liquids in life.
Of course, we need to keep in mind that the two substances mentioned above are known for disrupting sleep, so it’s important to note that they are probably affecting my ability to recall, rather than impede my ability to lucid dream.
As I continue this project, I will stick to two cups of coffee a day, and mind my Merlot as the holiday parties pop and churn around me.
As far as the lucid dreaming went last week, I did have one incredible dream of flying. I have flown in dreams before, but it’s been years. In this case I helped a friend escape danger by pulling her by the hand and taking off. Having this lucid dream really left me wanting more, which gives me the right kind of encouragement to monitor the chemicals I put in my body.
Have you tried out caffeine or alcohol and had better results than mine? Tell me how it turned out. I’d like to know.