What is meant by lucid dreaming?
Lucid dreaming is the state of being aware that one is dreaming. Because an individual is aware that they are dreaming, it is also called conscious dreaming. Some studies suggest that the individual may be able to change the outcome of the dream or control their degree of participation in the imaginary (dream) environment, while in lucid dreams.
Is lucid dreaming real?
Lucid dreaming is real and has been scientifically studied. It was confirmed for the first time by the scientific community at Hull University in 1975. Scientists explain that lucid dreaming works as a hybrid state – a blend of the waking and sleeping state.
What are the benefits of lucid dreaming?
- Increase motor skills: Lucid dreaming could help in physical rehabilitation for people with physical disabilities. It may also benefit people without physical disabilities by improving their sports performance and other motor skills.
- Enhance creativity: It helps sharpen creativity and imagination skills, as they have ability to recall dreams and visualize events.
- Interpreting lucid dreams: Dream interpretation can help a person understand the relevance of the dreams. Awareness increases the ability to observe the dream as it happens.
- Less stress levels: When an individual can control their dreams, they have fewer nightmares, less anxiety and low stressors.
Is it bad to have a lucid dream?
Lucid dreaming is generally considered safe, but there are some risks factors associated for people with mental health disorders which include:
- Dissociation: The overlap of reality and dreaming can also cause disconnection from your surroundings or self.
- Derealization: Lucid dreaming induction mixes reality and dreaming, making it difficult to determine what is real.
- Sleep problems: Because lucid dreaming techniques purposely interrupt sleep, getting enough sleep can be difficult. The risk is higher if you have a sleep disorder.
- Depression and anxiety: Sleep issues can intensify depressive symptoms and anxiety.
- Sleep paralysis: It is the most common risk factor associated with lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming happens in a state between consciousness and unconsciousness, and it is very easy to slip fully into either state.
- Getting trapped in a dream: Some people feel that they will get trapped in their lucid dream, unable to wake up and come back to reality. This fear often results from a “false awakening” experience where a lucid dreamer attempts to wake up, but realizes that they are still dreaming, upon attempting to wake up again, the lucid dreamer discovers that they are still dreaming. This cycle can continue for some time until the dreamer is able to pop themselves back into reality. This fascinating phenomenon can be frightening at times.
What are the common tips for practicing safe lucid dreaming?
A psychologist evaluation is always recommended before you practice lucid dreaming. Below are few common tips that can be helpful to practice safe lucid dreaming:
- An individual should always remember that it is just a dream to avoid getting stuck in a dream.
- Lucid dream should be practiced as a habit but not as an obsession, as it will be helpful to distinguish between the real-world and imaginary world. A couple of hours of lucid dreaming every day are usually recommended by psychologists.
- Being mindful and learning the process is a good way to adapt to lucid dreaming. It is recommended to note all lucid dreams in a journal to reference in the future.