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Advanced Lucid Dreaming: The Power of Supplements Paperback – December 14, 2006
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About the Author
Thomas Yuschak holds Masters Degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Modern Physics. He has been studying Lucid Dreaming for over a decade and has become a leading authority on the supplement approach of inducing lucid dreams. Mr. Yuschak is the founder of AdvancedLD, Ltd; an organization dedicated to the research, development, and teaching of the most advanced and effective induction techniques known.
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I acknowledge this book for its reasonable suggestions for particular supplements and pharmaceutical agents from both pharmacodynamic (i.e. manipulation of specifically targeted neurotransmitter systems)and pharmacokinetic (i.e. time course of the body's response) perspectives. All the reasoning is in tune with the current state of neurobiology research regarding the activity of neurotransmitter systems in sleep physiology.
Still, it is important to point out to readers that everything in this text is purely speculative and theoretical. There are no peer reviewed studies that have experimentally validated any of the claims set forth, but the author does make an effort of conveying this. Yet, it seems that many readers take all this information too lightheartedly out of desperation to experience more lucid dreams. Many of the "supplements" here are pharmaceutical agents or precursors that target major neurotransmitter systems whose long term side effects in recreational users are yet mostly unknown. Thus, you have to be aware that by ingesting the pharmacological agents, you are treating yourself as a guinea pig much similar as to taking unstudied recreational designer drugs. (Not that this is inherently "bad", but just so that you are aware of the wild uncharted territory of oneirology you will be embarking on.) I definitely think that people who are not studying neuroscience don't realize how little we yet know about the physiology of sleep, in particular.
From an anecdotal perspective, I have become proficient at lucid dreaming myself years before I came across the pharmacologically supplemented methods. Acknowledging the risks, I tried supplementing with galantamine (acetylcholinesterase inhibitor) + choline (acetylcholine "precursor") on several occasions, following 4-5 hours of sleep. Although, my ability to return back to sleep always appeared decreased (i.e. increased sleep latency), I did have some very lengthy and "high level" lucid dreams. Still, qualitatively they did not appear as authentic as many of my non-supplemented dreams of my past. Please remember that this is my personal anecdote. Also, after about five successively successful attempts using galantamine, I had 3 unsuccessful attempts and stopped after that. This supports the reasoning that your brain quickly builds up tolerance to the drug, which the author also addresses. Nonetheless, it took me a few weeks after that until I could attain another lucid dream without using any supplements.
To conclude, I think that if you are serious about lucid dreaming, experimenting with using these supplements can be a potential further option for you to expand your toolkit of becoming lucid. Still, I urge everyone not to take this option lightheartedly and become to reliant on these agents. If you can't attain lucid dreams without pharmaceuticals, you probably will not find any benefit in these methods, since they still assume that you are practiced in LD induction techniques. Currently, there are researchers that are attempting to find a reliable way to induce LDs at will, but unfortunately our state of knowledge is not there yet. It seems that everyone just wants quick and easy solutions to induce LDs, but for now, I personally believe that taking more time and dedication still remains the most effective route to becoming a successful oneironaut.
I'm not against drugs, I think they can be usefull under certain circumstances , but I'll keep trying to achieve lucidity in my dreams using standard techniques for a little while before giving in to external chemicals (either synthetic or natural). I wanna know what is it like to LD "naturally" so I can compare later with the LD'ing via external substances.
With these supplements I was able to experience 5 WILD's in my first two months, by only trying to lucid dream with supplements once a week. The last lucid dream I had with these supplements lasted for about an hour. I did lose consciousness a few times within the dream but I regained lucidity short after. I even remain lucid when the dream collapsed, I remained conscious in the "void" until another dream scene appeared. I have even had a couple of Out of Body Experiences before entering lucid dreams with this approach.
The best thing about WILD's is that you never lose consciousness, so you are lucid right from the beginning of the dream. This allows you to have longer lucid dreams. With DILD's you have to rely on a dreamsign or doing reality checks to gain lucidity, but sometimes you become lucid right in the middle or near the end of the dream or your REM cycle.
It does require consistent practice, following the instructions to the T and having prior knowledge and experience with lucid dreaming. Like others have said before there is no magic pill that will induce lucid dreams by itself. You have to do your work and it might take you a couple of attempts. If you persist your chances of having the best lucid dreams are very high and close.
P.S.: the transitions that you experience from waking state to the dream are AMAZING!