Dreaming is a common process in every human’s life and people are used to it. After experiencing some dreams, you might have thought that if that particular incident in the dream was real. Isn’t it? Well, in this blog we are not going to discuss methods to make your dream real. But, let’s discuss about an interesting process that can take your mind to another universe. The lucid dream! Many of you might have an idea about this term but many don’t. Ok, let’s see. A lucid dream is a type of dream where the person who dreams realises that he/she is dreaming while dreaming. You know that the incidents happening is not real but still, you can experience the dream with great originality. Studies have proved that on some occasions, the dreamer may also be able to control the events occurring in the dream in a similar way as a director is directing a movie. It is estimated that half of the people may have experienced a lucid dream but this type of dream is not as common as an ordinary dream.
The term “lucid dream” was coined by Frederik Van Eeden, a Dutch author and psychiatrist in the year 1913. Van Eeden recorded all his dreams between January 20, 1898, and December 26, 1912, in a dream diary (A diary used to write dream experiences). He realised that 352 of the dreams he experienced during this period were lucid. Van Eeden then listed out all the types of dreams he experienced and those dreams are listed below.
- Initial dreams
- Pathological dreams
- Ordinary dreams
- Vivid dreams
- Demoniacal dreams
- General dream-sensations
- Lucid dreams
Van Eeden said that the seventh type of dream he experienced, the lucid dream is the most interesting and engaging one compared to all other types of dreams. He also added that lucid dream is also a phenomenal topic for detailed study and research.
The reason behind Lucid Dream:
Scientists could not track the exact reason behind lucid dreams but they have some opinions based on their studies on lucid dreams. It is discovered that lucid dreams most commonly occur during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phase of sleep. Usually, people enter the REM phase 90 minutes after falling asleep. The REM phase of sleep is characterised by eye motion, faster breathing, and more brain activity. The first period of REM will last for almost 10 minutes and the next periods of REM will be longer than the previous ones. The final period of REM will last for almost one hour. As brain activity is more during this period, people will be active during this time even though they are asleep. This leads to experiencing dreams including lucid dreams and people find it more realistic. Studies have also found that the prefrontal cortex, the very front part of the brain is bigger in people who experience lucid dreams than in people who do not experience lucid dreams. The prefrontal cortex is the site of the brain with high-level tasks like decision-making, recalling memories, etc. take place. Yes, from this it is crystal clear that lucid dreams are more common in people with overthinking characters and people who have more commitments in life. Some studies also suggest that lucid dreaming is a phase where you are not fully awake but not quite asleep.
Advantages of Lucid Dream:
Lucid dreams are not like ordinary dreams. If you are a person who experiences lucid dreams on a consistent basis, you might attain some advantages in your life. Let’s see some of the important advantages of lucid dreams.
- Some studies found that people experiencing lucid dreams become more creative. As lucid dreams are more realistic and in some cases, you can also take control over the story, it helps you to build new ideas and in turn, you become more creative. Creativity is one of the essential aspects of life today and this can help you in many ways.
- Lucid dreams have the power to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. If you are experiencing a positive lucid dream, the sense of control you feel during the dream stays with you making you more confident, active, refreshed, and empowered. This will help you to stay away from certain problems like stress, anxiety, and depression to an extent which is common to most people.
- It is found that people experiencing lucid dreams will have improved problem-solving capabilities. Lucid dreaming is a mental exercise that lets you first visualize and then execute your plan. Lucid dreamers will be experts in solving problems like conflicts, disputes, tension, etc. that can benefit many people.
- Lucid dream provides more control over yourself. The goal of lucid dreaming is not to control your dreams in the most fundamental sense. It’s really about learning how to control your mind and with this control, you can replace reactivity with “response-ability.” Hence, instead of reacting to incidents, you can brilliantly respond to them. This is a more intelligent way to lead a successful life.
- Some studies suggest that lucid dreaming has the ability to improve motor skills. For example, if you are experiencing a lucid dream where you play football, those scenes are inculcated into your mind. This may benefit you when you are actually playing the same game again in real life. Thinking about all the skills you achieved during your lucid dream, you can play football and apply everything you saw while dreaming. Interesting, right?
Disadvantages of Lucid Dream:
Though lucid dreams have many advantages, they also have some drawbacks. Let’s see some of the disadvantages of lucid dreaming.
- Lucid dream creates confusion, delirium, and hallucinations in some people. People may get confused about which one is real and which one is not and this can lead to serious issues both physically and mentally. This will become worse for people with mental health problems.
- In some cases, lucid dream can lead to poor sleep quality. Lucid dream may wake you up on certain occasions while sleeping and it will be really difficult to go back to sleep. This will badly affect your sleep and a healthy sleep will be denied. Too much focus on lucid dream can also affect your sleep quality.
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Check your knowledge
Answer. A lucid dream is a type of dream where the person who dreams realises that he/she is dreaming while dreaming.
Answer. The term “lucid dream” was coined by Frederik Van Eeden, a Dutch author and psychiatrist in the year 1913.
Answer. 10 minutes