The deepest and intriguing concepts of the mind’s consciousness are always a tough part to research upon. People always remain aware of their surrounding world with full of attention and consciousness, but people enter deeper states of losing consciousness when one starts to sleep. Researching and studying about dreams during a subject’s deeper state of sleep has always been a part of ethics and now more recent reviews and studies are concerned about the topics on “Lucid Dreaming”- the state where one knows he or she is actually dreaming in sleep.
Lucid dreaming is a type of dream where one is actually aware that they are in a dream world in their own sleep. The phenomenon of lucid dreaming is not a common one but findings few have suggested that one can use this powerful unconscious consciousness to gain some control over their own dreaming experiences. The infrequent occurrence of this type of dreams is somewhat experienced at least once in every person’s lifetime, but still, it is not stated to be mandatory, as people may sometimes not get lucid dreams at all. This dreaming is observed in one’s start of their sleeping period and also sometimes during their middle of dreaming, where they found out that they can control the situation. Hence, this lucid dreaming is a great area for playing with your unused parts of one’s dream.
Thus, the lucid dreaming or lucidity, according to the journal of ‘Frontiers in Psychology’, it is the "awareness of dreaming while in a dream."
How to lucid dream?
According to pulmonologist and sleep medicine specialist, Dr. Raj Dasgupta (assistant professor of clinical medicine at Keck School of Medicine, USC), he suggests, the following lifestyle modifications can truly be useful for artificially entering a lucid dream state;
The five minutes period of a 70-120 long time duration of a Rapid eye movement sleeping (REM), a person when knew he or she is about to sleep, then it may be sound to go to lucid dreams on one’s own way; also getting more frequent in sleeping through REM stages is simultaneously benefitting both your cognition and also higher chance of lucidity.
A person can actually use his or her personal style of checking the reality. For example; having a small tattoo on their hand; using a kerchief every time; etc. and thus this can help you to see whether you are in the states of dream or reality.
Writing and jotting pointers and hints as “my dream journal” over what you dreamt after your sleep or even when during the middle of waking from sleep can help even more accurately to check if the dream was something like representation or is trying to say something for your real world!
Outside of research setting, few supplements for treating problems like levels of confusion and Alzheimer’s can act as an inducer for lucid dreaming. For example, it was found that the supplement Galantamine significantly increased the occurrence of ludic dreaming which was self-reported by patients.
Researches even though they are not fully strong about the interpretations about lucidity, it is said that lucid dreaming is not too bad. It may actually be helpful to get answers to your daily life (Reality), and also is there are any negative parts of your dreaming experience, like, death of a beloved one or losing any of your obsession, it may actually be a helpful unconscious defense mechanism to be resilient in your real life losing.
For instance, there was this study on college students where it was observed that lucid dreams were 7 times more positively likely for triggering certain forms of nightmares that are more tolerable. And also, if those participants realized that they were in a dreaming world, during a nightmare, they would have felt comforted for about 60% of their time, which will help you in the long run when you are about to face death in your dreams.
Thus, not all lucid dreaming is bad. But still, have some control over reality, since when someone tries to probe and modify the mind of their self, from an unconsciously conscious state, it may act in a negative way to the reality in his or her life.
‘Sleep paralysis’ happens for almost every person at nights during the REM sleep cycle—to keep you from physically moving or acting out in your dreams—but few people experience a state that is in between the dreaming and of waking when they are trying in lucid dreaming. This can be a frightening one since you cannot move, you are aware that you are awake, but still, you may be experiencing sort of hallucinations and choking from your dreams. This type of sleep paralysis is uncommon, but it is definitely a possibility while trying experimentation with lucid dreaming.
Another risk involved in lucidity is the “realistic feelings”. As stated, one can even experience pain, fear, etc. in a lucid dream. Like said, the negative emotions and feelings of the dream can affect you in the real living with mood swings, pessimistic thoughts, irritated affect, etc. Even one has chances of hurting or harming someone very close to you, due to the person’s role in the dream.
Benefits of lucid dream
Lucid dreams reap the incredibly best benefits for one since anything is possible; Lucidity will help overcome few of your major phobias and fears, as you will confront them in your dream and will control it good. This has a positive effect on your real life fear.
Overcoming or even stopping nightmares is also possible from lucidity. Once you get to know well about lucid dreaming, then you may control it in a positive way and the ending is hence good for you.
Taking reality scenario’s decision and skills are thus really helpful from the influences of and the interpretations drawn from your lucidity.
Lucid dreaming is also the best tool for emotionally getting stable in fear, aggression, stress, doubts, etc. and hence you will feel empowered.
Since dreams are projections of your subconscious mind, you will be able to connect and interact with your own true inner self through lucid dreaming.
Lucidity helps get you a personal meaning or question for living in life.
Improving creativity is very much significant from lucid dreaming, as you tend to be unique and responsible from the solutions given by your dream experience in your real life living.
Lucid dreaming will help you to meet and be with your lost beloved ones.
As said earlier, impossibility is possible from lucid dreaming and hence one can experience and control the way of living and confronting situations around you.
Your dream is yours and hence from lucidity, one can experience the state of being in the privacy of your life.
Are lucid dreams harmful to mental health?
In few kinds of researches and studies, it was found that extreme frequency of lucid dreaming can actually harm or damage your mental health.
Detached feelings, that is, the personality disorder called as “dissociation” was more pronounced in for people who try to initiate themselves repeatedly into lucid dreaming. Also, stress and sleeplessness, with more frequency of nightmares, was the result of artificially initiating oneself with lucidity.
Trying to wander and roam with your subconscious in a consciously aware state of mind is not a simple thing, and when one tries to do it artificially or for the sake of thrill and entertainment, one has to pay its high price in real-world living. Thus, it is said that lucid dreaming is beneficial only for the ones who are experiencing it naturally, less frequently, and also, has a stable physical and mental health in reality.
Lucid dreaming- Interesting facts
Lucid dreams can be a road for “escapism”.
Lucid dreams can have both positive and negative effects over an individual’s real-life well-being.
People with a borderline personality disorder, who experience ludic dreams, will have an increase in their confusion and anxiety.
Almost 55% of the people will report having lucid dreams once in a month.
Cultural beliefs and personal norms have direct influence over your lucidity.
Young people experience more of lucid dreaming than older or middle-agers.
Meditation and video gaming have external influence over your lucidity.
Sensory feedback for physical actions performed in reality living and then doing the same in a dream is much slower than real.
Some form of psychics has regular lucid dreams.
Putting your ego into it a lucid dream may sometime turn dangerous.
Frequently asked questions about lucid dreaming
What is the exact meaning of lucid dreaming?
Lucid means easy to understand and hence lucid dreaming is basically your own awareness that you are dreaming in your dreams the REM stage of sleep.
What is the science behind lucid dreaming?
There is still no honest evidence about the science for lucidity but research says that people who tend to have regular lucid dreams have more grey matter in their brain.
Can anyone learn to lucid dream?
Yes. Approximately about 55% of people experience a real lucidity once in their lifetime, but entering the state of lucid dreaming artificially is under their own risk.
Should someone learn to lucid dream?
Not needed. Since you dream every day and lucidity when comes naturally and rarely is good for your self-confidence and mental health growth; but sometimes it is beneficial to lucid dream-like when you are having a presentation or seminar next day and you can opt for practicing lucid dream as a platform to try out once.
How long do lucid dreams last?
People report of dreaming lucidly for about a few minutes.
Is there any risk in lucid dreaming?
Sleep paralysis, which includes choking, feelings of pressure over the chest, bad sensations, etc. will also come along as unexpected bad side-effects from lucid dreaming.
Can the chances of lucid dreaming be increased?
Mediation; dream journal’ personal checklist; reality checking; etc. are few tricks to increase the chances of lucid dreaming by oneself.
How to lucid dream in 5 minutes?
Follow the FILD step of imaging and playing piano with your fingers. The technique is a bit tough but works when you wake up directly into REM sleep after 5 to 6 hours of sleep.