Lucid Dreaming: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Last Updated: DEC 13, 2022

Have you ever heard of lucid dreaming? Lucid dreaming is when a dreamer is aware that they are dreaming while they are still in the dream. It's a fascinating phenomenon, with scientific research showing how it can help us better understand our subconscious minds. Let’s take a closer look at lucid dreaming, what it is and how it all works!

what is lucid dreaming

What is Lucid Dreaming?

Lucid dreaming occurs when the dreamer becomes conscious that they’re dreaming while still in the midst of their dream. This means that the dreamer has greater control over their own actions within the dream and can manipulate certain aspects of it to suit their needs or desires. For example, some people use lucid dreams to practice public speaking or overcome fears, as they have total control over their environment and can safely explore different scenarios without any real-world consequences.

It is estimated that between 1-2% of people experience lucid dreams on a regular basis, with most experiences being spontaneous rather than induced.

The Science Behind Lucid Dreaming

Recent scientific studies have shown that lucid dreams occur when there’s an increase in gamma brainwave activity during sleep.

Researchers believe that lucid dreams are caused by a combination of two factors - physiological and psychological. Physiologically speaking, it appears that certain brainwave frequencies associated with REM sleep (the stage during which most dreams occur) are also present in lucid dreams. This suggests that some form of “wakefulness” occurs during REM sleep, allowing for consciousness to become aware within the dream itself. Psychologically speaking, researchers suggest that certain psychological traits such as mindfulness, creativity and intelligence may play a role in facilitating lucidity within dreams 

Learning How To Lucid Dream

Although scientists haven't pinned down exactly why some people experience lucid dreams more frequently than others, there are certain techniques you can use to increase your chances of having one. One popular technique involves setting an alarm for four hours after you fall asleep and repeating “I am dreaming” when you wake up before going back to sleep again. This helps to "program" your mind into recognising when it's time for a lucid dream! Other strategies include focusing on your breath and using visualisation techniques such as imagining yourself flying or exploring new places during sleep - both of which can help build awareness around being in a dream state.

What Does Lucid Dreaming Feel Like? 

The experience of lucid dreaming can vary greatly from person to person; some may find themselves fully immersed in their dream world while others may have only fleeting moments of lucidity before they return to their normal dream state. Generally speaking though, those who experience lucid dreams report feeling more alert and aware than during normal dream states, as well as having increased levels of control over their environment and what happens within their dream world. Additionally, many people report having stronger emotional reactions to events within their lucid dreams compared to non-lucid ones - making them more vivid and memorable afterwards. 

Lucid dreaming is an intriguing phenomenon that allows us to explore our subconscious minds while we sleep. Although science still hasn’t pinpointed exactly why some people experience lucid dreams more often than others, there are various methods available for anyone interested in learning how to have one themselves! Whether you’re looking for insight into your own psyche or simply want to explore exciting new worlds while you snooze.