Have you ever had a dream where you actually knew that you were dreaming? While it sounds like something that would only happen in a sci-fi or horror movie, the phenomenon is actually real a real thing known as Lucid Dreaming.
Lucid Dreaming is the ability to be consciously aware or be in control of your own dreams. The process makes your inner dream world turn into a living alternate reality. In this world everything that you see, hear, feel, taste or smell will be as genuine as real life.
A lucid dream or the act of lucidity occurs whenever you are in the altered state of consciousness. During this time you know that you are dreaming and your brain switches to waking mode while you are still inside the dream.
In a normal dream, your self-awareness is completely turned off. That is why the details are often fuzzy when you wake up and you can’t seem to remember much of what happened. Normal dreams often do not make much sense or seem to be fragments of memories put together as you sleep. But when you are lucid dreaming, the conscious brain wakes up while you are still asleep, allowing you to be aware of what is happening and remember the dream after you are fully awake.
Lucid dreaming is safe and very natural. And while it may sound like something that is paranormal, it really isn’t. Many out of body experiences that people have had over time have been explained by the lucid dream state. And with lucid dreams, you are always asleep in your bed, it is not the same as sleepwalking (which can be very dangerous) and it is not any type of sleep disorder that needs to be fixed. If you want to, you can wake yourself up at any time.
But, once you have an understanding of what lucid dreaming truly is and know how to do it, you may not be as eager to wake yourself up. When you enter into the lucid state, your senses become alive. You are able to explore the inside of your unconscious mind with complete freedom.
Has Lucid Dreaming Been Scientifically Proven?
While Tibetian Monks have used dream control for more than a thousand years in what they refer to as “dream yoga”, the modern term “lucid dreaming” was not heard of until around the 1800s. The term was created by a dream researcher named Marquis d’Hervey de Saint-Denys. The concept of lucid dreams became more popular in the 1960s when Celia Green pointed out the scientific potential of being self-aware as you dream. She was the first person to discover the link between REM sleep and false awakenings.
Scientific evidence of lucid dreaming was found by a British parapsychologist named Keith Hearne in 1975. He found proof by catching the pre-determined conscious eye movements from a volunteer as they were lucid dreaming. His research has been overlooked throughout the years as Stephen LaBerge of Standford University became well known for replicating the experiment and publishing them in science journals.
LaBerge was a prolific lucid dreamer and founded The Lucidity Institute in 1987 to explore the technique further. His mission is to do enough research and find out the potential of lucid dreaming in hopes that one day he may find a connection between it and advances in understanding the human mind.
Can Anyone Learn to Lucid Dream?
Yes it is possible for anyone to learn to lucid dream. It is not hard to do once you tap into the right technique. Research shows that everyone has had at least one lucid dream in their lifetime by accident. To have a lucid dream on demand, you have to get into the habit of recognizing the dreamstate. There are many ways you can do this, such as ….
- Meditation: focus your mind on demand
- Visualization: enter the lucid dream state from waking
- Reality Checks: produce spontaneous self-awareness in dreams
- Using dream herbs: to intensify and prolong your dreams
- Dream journaling: helps you to cement dream memories in the waking world
- Mnemonic techniques: produce spontaneous lucidity in dreams
One way to start lucid dreaming that has been shown to work is to lie completely still on your back in bed without moving. You’ll need to be in a quiet room with no distractions. Clear your mind and try to think of a blank canvas. Concentrate on your breathing and you will find yourself falling asleep while you are still aware. There are many other techniques out there and it may take several tries before you are able to achieve your goals. Keep practicing and try new things and eventually you will be able to experience lucid dreaming.