What is Lucid Dreaming
Lucid dreams are a unique state when the brain shows unusual characteristics. Today, there is no doubt left: lucid dreaming is not a mere esoteric phenomenon, it is a scientifically proven, documented and incredibly important notion.
On average, a person spends around 6 years of their life dreaming, or in the stage, Rapid Eye Movement (REM). This means we spend approximately 2,190 days or 52,560 hours watching or living dreams. Even though we can experience emotions and feelings while sleeping, our consciousness is in a different state from when we are awake. At these moments it is hard to separate a dream from reality.
There are people who have lucid dreams, so part of their consciousness stays awake. With this ability lucid dreaming can be controlled – something similar to what was conveyed in the movie Inception starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Lucid dreaming is not fully researched yet but the latest studies say this is akin to a ‘boundary’ between the simultaneous states of being awake and asleep.
Lucid dreaming and the brain
According to research, more than half of world’s population have experienced lucid dreaming. This is good news as such experiences allow people to create desired scenarios during a dream. There is evidence that lucid dreaming can be provoked and stimulated. People all over the world have taught their consciousness how to separate a dream from reality, control the dream and use whatever is happening for personal growth.
During a recent scientific study, participants were asked to describe their last dream.
It was found that in a lucid dream people become more acute, able to control their thoughts and actions, actively use logic and remember everything that has happened to them in reality. When they wake up, they have better skills for dream interpretation and can provide reasons for seeing certain things.
Another research focused on studying the ability to make conscious real-life decisions during a dream. It turned out that will power transfers from reality to dreams. However, the ability to plan becomes worse when a person is in a lucid dreaming state.
These and other genius studies of lucid dreaming have led to the creation of communication code between people who lucid dream and researchers. Prior to starting the experiment, participants and researchers agree on a sign – for example moving the eyes to the right twice.
Thanks to signs like that, scientists were able to find out that during lucid dreaming the frontal lobe of the brain is more active than in standard dreaming episodes. Interestingly, this area of the brain is associated with the higher order of thinking skills: logical reasoning and will power. Usually we can observe them only when a person is awake.
Further research showed that frontal lobe stimulation during lucid dreaming leads to the enhancement of these abilities.
Lucid dreaming & its potential applications
Lucid dreaming has many potential benefits, both physiological and psychological.
Lucid dreaming therapy is practiced in dealing with nightmares and can also work through unpleasant recurring dreams. In a lucid dream, one can control what is happening and change the way the story unfolds.
Imagine you are having dreams about snakes and are feeling scared. In a lucid dream, you could stop and do something about the situation. Get a good look at the snake, maybe even touch it while controlling everything else. The outcome might surprise you, but you will get over your dreams about snakes that used to frighten you. Alternatively, you could take on a superpower and fly away from the snake or fight it – whatever feels right in the moment.
Apart from that, lucid dreaming helps with phobias, it teaches you to be more mindful and present in the moment.
Overall, lucid dreaming is a way to work through personal issues, become more enlightened and just have an exciting and fun experience.
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