Lucid Dreams: What They Are and How to Experience Them?

By My Dreams Meaning •  Updated: 08/05/22 •  6 min read

Dreams have always been a little bit enigmatic in our life. No matter how imaginative. These neurological illusions triggered from the frontal cortex of the brain can feel genuine and cause a variety of feelings, from melancholy to terror and panic. And the idea of lucid dreaming brings a whole new dimension to this.

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What are lucid dreams?

Lucid dreams also can loosely be translated as clear dreams. It means that if you are in a lucid dream, you can clearly differentiate between the real world and the dreamscape. You are completely aware of the fact that you are dreaming. 

This is commonly experienced during the REM sleep stage. 

The consciousness of dreaming is what gives a dream its lucidity. But in some cases, some people who dream lucidly also have the ability to manipulate the dream characters, narratives, and visual components. 

Now shaping up and controlling your dream plots and dreamscapes might sound magical and bizarre at the same time. However, inducing lucid dreams is a reality and is quite possible if the correct practices and steps are followed. 

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Multiple ways and techniques can help with how to lucid dream tonight. However, the process of lucid dreaming cannot be mastered overnight. You will be required to be diligent, consistent, and patient to introduce it into your regular routine gradually. 

Can you be in charge of your dreams?

Although controlling your dreams is not a direct result of lucid dreaming. However, inducing lucid dreams and being self-conscious that you are in a dream state is a great starting point for kicking off dream control. After all, you will not be able to control them unless you are aware of the fact that you are actually experiencing them. 

The primary distinction between a common dream and a lucid dream is the absence of lack of awareness in a normal dream. You might have experienced this yourself quite frequently. It’s the truth that you could hardly recollect the events from a run-of-the-mill dream that you see on most days. You can manifest or dream of doing extraordinary things that you always aspired to in your lucid dreams but controlling them is a different process altogether. 

Why do lucid dreams happen?

This is a tricky question to answer since there is not much concrete data or evidence to back it up. However, you are very likely to experience lucid and almost real-looking dreams during your REM sleep. This is the stage of sleep when your brain is the most active, which is as good as brain functioning when you are fully awake. 

Needless to say, an active central nervous system facilitates alertness in your dreams, helping you to induce vivid, lucid dreams that you can actually remember. This is primarily why lucid dreaming is usually induced while you are in your REM sleep. It is a state wherein you are not absolutely wide awake, but you are not in a deep slumber either. 

According to one study, it was observed that narcolepsy patients were more likely to have higher instances of lucid dreaming. According to another German study, it is said that an electrical current resembling a gamma wave frequency in the frontal cortex of their brains most likely pushes the individual into a lucid dreaming state while they are in their REM sleep. 

But, surprisingly, it was found that those induced with currents having frequencies of alpha, beta, theta, and delta waves didn’t experience any lucid dreams. 

This is because gamma waves are the fastest and have the ability to process maximum insight. Therefore, they are known to establish a connection with your subconscious mind and the memory of your super-active brain in your REM sleep, telling you about the dream. 

This way, gamma waves can make you aware or fully conscious of your dreams. And that is why you experience lucid dreams!

How to experience lucid dreams?

These are some of the documented techniques used to induce lucid dreams based on several research studies. Here’s how to lucid dream tonight

The reality check technique

This involves performing a set of actions and repeatedly practicing them on a regular basis in your waking life. Once you get used to these actions, you are very likely to do them in your dreams, helping you differentiate between a dream and real life. 

For example, certain commonly performed actions are trying to penetrate your palms with your fingers, blocking the breathing process for a short period of time by holding your nose, checking your reflection in the mirror, etc. 

Mnemonic induction of lucid dreams (MILD) technique

This is a very consciously practiced technique. It generally starts with setting the alarm for five hours before hitting the snooze button. When you are asleep, you are most likely to experience a dream around two or three hours prior to waking up. Once the alarm rings, it breaks your sleep cycle, helping you wake up and recall your dream. 

If you cannot make sense of it initially, it is okay if you can even remember your most recent dream. The next logical step is to keep repeating affirmations that you are dreaming, and you will recollect your dream. This technique performed religiously can help you master the lucid dreaming process over a period of time.

Wake-up-back-to-bed (WBTB) technique

This method, which interrupts sleep, is frequently used in conjunction with the MILD strategy. A person who has been sleeping for some time will purposely wake up using an alarm, remain up for a predetermined period of time, and then fall back asleep.

External stimulation technique

You can use a variety of devices to trigger the process of lucid dreaming artificially. This is another way to coach your brain via tactile and visual stimulation. 

Conclusion 

Lucid dreaming has therapeutic advantages. But it is important to understand the techniques well before you start practicing them. A consultation with your therapist or a psychology expert can help in order to induce lucid dreams in the right way for them to be effective. 

If done correctly, lucid dreaming can be very beneficial for your physical as well as mental well-being. It can help you with long-term healing, get over your traumatic past and also effectively assist you in dealing with anxiety triggered by post-traumatic stress disorder. 

That is not it! Lucid dreaming is also known to make you a more skilled individual. It enhances your focus and can make you a performance-driven, result-oriented person. Some studies also state that having lucid dreams can not only take your motor skills to the next level but can even make you embrace positivity in life. But since this process involves intense training of your brain, make sure to seek the assistance of experts before you get started with it. 

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