This post and the photos within it may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a commission at no extra charge to you.
Is lucid dreaming dangerous? The short answer is no.
Lucid dreaming it’s not dangerous.
Even though lucid dreaming is generally safe, it is important to mention some possible dangers of lucid dreaming and risks that are connected to it.
The dangers of lucid dreaming are:
- Experiencing realistic feelings such as sadness, pain, or anxiety
- Difficulties to recognize what is real and what is a dream
- Using lucid dreams to escape the reality
- Experiencing sleep paralysis
- Feeling mentally exhausted after a lucid dream
- Experiencing a lucid nightmare
Find how to prevent experiencing any of the risks, especially if you are a lucid dream beginner.
Let’s observe the dangers of lucid dreaming, plus a few more questions:
What are the dangers of lucid dreaming?
Can you die in real life from a dream?
Can you die from lucid dreaming?
Can you get stuck in a lucid dream?
Is lucid dreaming addictive?
Are lucid dreams tiring?
Can you have a lucid nightmare?
FINAL THOUGHTS: The dangers of lucid dreaming
Find a video summary of the article at the end of this post!
1. What are the dangers of lucid dreaming?
Overall, lucid dreams are not dangerous.
However, like almost anything in this world, there are some small risks, that you might take into consideration, including:
Experiencing realistic feelings such as sadness, pain, anxiety
Negative feelings like that can occur in a dream state, exactly like in our daily life.
The thing is that if you are a beginner, you will be aware that you are dreaming, but controlling the dream might be still a bit hard.
So, you won’t have full control over it, which might end up in not the best lucid experience.
Difficult to recognize what is real and what is a dream
You might get confused about whether a given memory was a dream or it really happens.
This is not common, however, it is a possible experience, especially if you suffer from borderline personality disorder, or similar mental disorders.
Such conditions will make it hard to know what is a dream, and what is real, and it is possible that lucid dreaming increases the dream-reality confusion.
If you are afraid that you can have difficulties to tell the difference between dreams and reality, the best thing you can do is to have a dream journal.
Writing your dreams down can always remind if something happened in your dream or in the reality, and it is a fantastic way to distinguish dream memories and real memories.
Using lucid dreams to escape the reality
Escapism is intentional detachment and distraction from the real world.
If you use lucid dreaming to escape from the real world, can’t harm you.
Escapism is healthy if it is used in the norms.
However, if you are doing it too much, it can be harmful to your productivity and personal growth.
The only thing you should be careful if you use lucid dreaming to escape the reality and enjoy yourself is simply not letting it go too far.
Otherwise, you might end up dissatisfied with your real life, and to literally start living only in your dreams, by putting all of your energy and goals towards the fantasy world in your head.
Experiencing sleep paralysis
Sleep paralysis is actually a normal and natural process. It happens every night to keep us from acting out our dreams.
Can lucid dreaming lead to sleep paralysis?
Let’s be clear about something – lucid dreaming itself doesn’t cause sleep paralysis!
It is mostly about your personal sleeping and living habits. This condition can occur during periods of sleep deprivation, stress/anxiety, etc.
It is important to mention that SOME lucid dreaming methods may cause sleep paralysis.
Let’s go through them, very quickly:
Dream Initiated Lucid Dreams (DILD): they shouldn’t involve sleep paralysis
Wake Initiated Lucid Dreams (WILD): this is the one that often involves sleep paralysis, but it is also a very effective way of becoming lucid
(it keeps your consciousness awake while your body is falling asleep)
Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD): shouldn’t involve sleep paralysis except if you are doing it wrong
Finger Induced Lucid Dreams (FILD): there is a chance that this method causes sleep paralysis
2. Can you die in real life from a dream?
Dying in a dream is something that a lot of people are worried about.
But don’t worry, because one thing is certain – you won’t die in real life if you die inside a lucid dream. That’s for sure.
The possible outcomes are – you might wake up in your bed, or inside of another dream.
The ‘‘If you die in a dream you will die in the real-life” is just a myth.
How can you actually die for real while being aware of the fact that you are in a dream – meaning, that it is only in your head?
Dreams of death can actually be insightful experiences about life, rebirth, and transcendence.
3. Can you die from lucid dreaming?
It’s surely possible to die in your sleep or inside of a dream, however, to be killed by a (lucid) dream in the real life – not really.
There is really no evidence that a lucid dream can kill you. After all, a lucid dream isn’t that different from a normal dream.
It is a dream, in which you are AWARE that you are dreaming.
Moreover, many people are reporting that they have dreams in which they are dying.
But the most common outcome is – waking up.
4. Can you get stuck in a lucid dream?
Being trapped in a dream forever is simply science fiction, possible in the movies.
Becoming lucid in a dream, whereafter you are unable to manipulate or wake up from – in other words, feeling stuck in a dream is something that you shouldn’t really worry about.
This concern is unnecessary because as we mentioned those dreams aren’t that different from normal dreams — they’re just much more vivid.
By becoming better at lucid dreaming, you can even wake up on demand.
By closing your (dream) eyes and saying out loud “WAKE UP!”, you should be able to wake up from the dream.
5. Is lucid dreaming addictive?
There might be some very rare, and extreme cases, in which someone can feel addicted to lucid dreams.
But for the majority of people, lucid dreams are not addictive.
For example, if you stop to lucid dream, you will not experience the uncontrollable psychological desire or the irrepressible addictive need to lucid dream again, and again.
Undoubtedly lucid dreaming is highly enjoyable, and you will want to do it more, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to live without it.
Lucid dreaming is more of an actual hobby.
It is exciting, and it is possible to crave for more lucid dreams.
But, that won’t make you a lucid dreaming addict, unless you start sleeping for half of your days, in order to experience lucid dreaming.
THAT might be definitely dangerous.
6. Are lucid dreams tiring?
Imagine that you have a lucid dream in which you are flying around, running, exploring, etc.
The fact that our muscles are paralyzed while we sleep, and that everything happens in our mind, makes the physical energy exhaustion illogical.
But what about mentally exhausting?
A study explored the concerns on is it possible that frequent lucid dreaming can lead to disrupted sleep.
It is possible to wake up tired, if you have long, multiple, very vivid and active lucid (or non-lucid) dreams.
Especially if they are emotional or anxiety-producing dreams.
The thing is that if you LUCID dream, and you are able to control it, you will do pleasurable things and the chances to experience emotionally anxiety producing dreams is small.
But if you are still not able to control the dream, it is also possible to experience emotionally draining dreams, even when you are lucid.
Another aspect is that some lucid dreaming techniques require waking up during the night and performing them.
The effort to experience a lucid dream can cause tiredness, so if you decide to use some of these methods, use them carefully.
It is possible to disrupt your sleep, if you often perform lucid dream techniques, that require waking up in the middle of the night.
If you sleep less than 7 hours, you might suffer from sleep deprivation, which makes these types of techniques, not the best option.
The last point is the so-called “perma-lucid dreamers” or natural lucid dreamers. They are people who dream consciously every night, and they assume that everyone does it.
You might think that is something amazing and it is a truly a gift.
However, some of them often complain of feeling tired and overwhelmed.
This is due to the fact that they lucid dream every night, they can’t rest properly because they cannot simply turn off their minds at night.
Unfortunately, this is an under-researched topic so there are not any scientifically proven answer.
So, finally, it all adds up to this:
The types of lucid or non-lucid dreams that are full of emotional energy, confusing and psychologically disturbing, can be tiring and mentally exhausting.
7. Can you have a lucid nightmare?
It is possible to experience a lucid nightmare, however, the good news is that lucid nightmares are really unusual to happen.
Most of the lucid dreamers are not coming across any terror at all.
The thing is that, often, if we shift a lucid dream into a nightmare, we lose awareness and control, even if had it before.
Similar to any nightmares, the chances to experience it is higher in the moments where you’re particularly stressed.
Also, if you have experienced a trauma of any kind, you might also find yourself in lucid nightmares.
On the other hand, in one study, college students reported that realizing they were dreaming in a nightmare helped them feel better about 60% of the time.
Lucidity was seven times more likely to make nightmares better than worse.
So, when you have a nightmare, the possibly unrealistic and fantastic events might spark lucidity, which will help you to actually overcome the nightmare!
8. FINAL THOUGHTS: The dangers of lucid dreaming
All of these lucid dreaming dangers are very unlikely to occur, however, they are possible.
If you are in a good physical and health mental state, you shouldn’t worry about experiencing these things.
The fact that you are HERE right now, learning about these dangers, means that you will be completely prepared.
If it happens that you run into some of them, you will know what’s happening, and what to do.
If you experience some of these unpleasant situations multiple times, you should try to find out what is the reason behind and to stop practicing lucid dreaming for a while.
Now you should be relaxed, and knowing how to start learning how to lucid dream safely!
In order to do that you can check some of my best articles for inducing a lucid dream: