We spend one third of our life dreaming. Sometimes dreams are happy, scary, unexplainable and even an indication of what is going to happen in future. There is a popular saying that the dreams we see in the morning are usually true and real, though there is no scientific proof to it. We usually dream what we think, stress is an important factor in dreams. Less stress means happy dreams.
But will you believe it if I tell you that you can actually control your dreams?🤔
A dream where one becomes aware of the dream it is known as lucid dreaming. And there are people who do this. You can do it too!! Let’s know how.
People have been studying lucid dreams for a very long time, from ancient to modern it has been studied to understand the cause and purposes of it. As a result many theories have emerged, though it is still under research.
This term was given by Dutch author and psychiatrist Fredreik Van Eeden. In his article A Study of Dreams in 1913. He studied his own dreams for a period of time and wrote them in his dream diary, 352 of his dreams were categorized as lucid.
He mentioned 7 different types of dreams and out of which he considered lucid dreams most interesting and worthy of observation.
The reference to this phenomenon can be found in ancient greek writings. According to Aristotle, Greek philosopher, “often when one is asleep, there is something in consciousness which declares that what then presents itself is but a dream”. Other than Aristotle, physician Sir Thomas Browne, Samuel Pepys and more have mentioned lucid dreaming.
In 2020 there was a large increase in reports of lucid dreams compared to the previous year.
There are a few conditions for a dream in order to be defined as a lucid dream and these were given by Paul Tholey. The conditions are:
1. Awareness of the dream state (orientation)
2. Awareness of the capacity to make decisions
3. Awareness of memory functions
4. Awareness of self
5. Awareness of the dream environment
6. Awareness of the meaning of the dream
7. Awareness of concentration and focus (the subjective clarity of that state)
Lucid dreams are often found to be affective in treating nightmares. Physiotherapists have also been including lucid dreaming as a part of therapy. There are also books and movies based on this like inception, paprika, etc.
Though lucid dreaming has been beneficial in many aspects but for the people who experience it for the first time can go through the feelings of stress or confusion. People who see lucid dreams very often might feel empowered and also isolated from others in terms of their dreaming experience which is quiet different to others. Others might experience sleep paralysis, which is sometimes confused with lucid dreams.
Read about sleep paralysis here: https://edupub.org/2021/08/12/sleep-paralysis/
There are many methods using which one can experience lucid dream like, make a dream diary and jot down the dreams you remember, diary alone won’t help but it will be beneficial with other methods. Some devices and drugs are also used.