When you finally hit the bed after a long day, you enter into a totally different world and leave behind the conscious part of you. It's that time when your subsconscious takes over and you step into the mysterious realm of dreams. When you dream, you generally are unaware of the fact that you are dreaming. Regardless of how the events of a dream turn out to be, all of it seems absolutely real to you.
But have you encountered any instance when you were aware that you are dreaming? Yes? Simply put, what you have experienced is called lucid dreaming. I am sure most of you must have experienced it some time or the other but had no clue about the name of this condition. This wonderful ability to have a conscious awareness and control of your dreams is indeed a mystery!
What is Lucid dreaming?
Dreaming while knowing that you are dreaming is termed as lucid dreaming. The dreamer suddenly becomes aware about this in the midst of a dream when he/she realizes that the experience is not occurring in physical reality, but is a dream. There comes a moment of clarity struck by the realization triggered by the dreamer noticing some impossible or unlikely occurrence in the dream. Sometimes people become lucid without noticing any particular clue in the dream; they just suddenly realize they are in a dream.
Lucid dreaming occurs during REM sleep, the fifth sleep stage. The body is basically paralyzed, with the exception of the eyelids.
Did you know that on some level, you can control your dreams, more so if you have an active and imaginative mind! Since a long time, people have learned to assume control of their dreams and do amazing things. Reports suggest that people who have lucid dreams may generally be more insightful than other people .
Also Read- Brain different in lucid dreamers: Study
Here are some facts that you might find interesting:
- One in five people lucid dream every month or more: Lucidity is not as rare as you think! 20% of people claimed to lucid dream frequently (every month) while 50% of people had done it at least once in their lives. For most people, it happens accidentally not deliberately so they are unaware of this condition.
- Two most popular lucid dreaming activities are flying and sex: Obvious, isn't it? The potential for wild adventure and fantasy fulfillment is the first thing that attracts people to lucid dreaming. Flying is a favorite lucid dream delight, as is sex. Many people have said that their first lucid dream was the most wonderful experience of their lives.
- People who play video-games are more prone to have lucid dreams: Studies show that playing video games before bedtime may give people an unusual level of awareness and control in their dreams. Gaming also lowers a chance of having a negative dream.
- Lucid dreaming is a learnable skill: Anybody can learn how to do it! With practice you can master the art of lucid dreaming. It's just like learning a new language. With specific techniques, you can increase the quantity and quality of your dream recall, which will in turn greatly increase your ability to have lucid dreams. The most important prerequisite for learning lucid dreaming is excellent dream recall.
- Lucid dreaming has been practiced for thousands of years: Records suggest that even the ancient Egyptians may have practiced lucid dreaming. Tibetan Buddhists have been practicing something like lucid dreaming for a very long time: dream yoga. The objective of dream yoga is to probe your consciousness and bring you to a constant state of awareness.
- Lucid dreams are positive and rewarding experiences: Conscious dreaming is an absolutely fun way to escape into imaginable dream scenarios. With it you can build confidence, improve your creativity and overcome fears. It can also be used to practice and get better at public speaking. Beyond wish fulfillment, it provides dreamers with a direct channel to both the awareness behind the dream and the unconscious self, enabling them to heal past fears and anxieties.
- Scientific link between meditation and lucid dreams: Meditation is profoundly linked with self awareness in dreams.Meditation helps to enter altered states of consciousness as well as increase self-awareness.
- Vitamin B6 can increase your dream recall and intensity: A 2002 study revealed that participants who took a daily 250mg B6 supplement reported a significant increase in dream content - as measured in dream vividness, bizarreness, emotionality and color.
So,if you could control your dreams, what would you do?