Description of Lucid Dreams
Lucid Dream can be defines as those dreams in which the dreamer is aware of the fact that he/ she is dreaming. This is not a phenomenon that has been reported in the modern times. Albeit in different names, but the concept of Lucid Dreams have existed since the ancient times in various cultures.
This concept even finds mention in the writings of the Greek philosopher Aristotle who observed that often it so happens that even when one is sleeping and is dreaming there is an iota of consciousness in the person that kind of prompts to the viewer that what is happening then is nothing but a dream.
Researchers have put forward that when one experiences a Lucid Dream it allows them to exert a certain degree of control over their dream. People may even be able to manipulate the course of happenings that occur in such a dream. They seem to participate in the dream in a manner in which they are able to manipulate the imaginary situations that they experience in their dream environment.
These dreams are often reported to be extremely vivid and realistic. This happens because of the fact that scientists have established that when a person is in a state of experiencing a Lucid Dream, then there is an increase of activity in the parietal lobe area of the brain which makes such a dream a conscious process.
Salient Features of Lucid Dreams
For a dream to be labeled as a Lucid Dream it should fulfill all of the seven criteria mentioned below –
- The dreamer should be aware of the state of dream
- The dreamer should be aware of the fact that she/ he possesses the capacity to take decisions in the dream
- The dreamer should have memories functioning
- The dreamer should be aware of self
- The dreamer should be conscious about the dream environment
- The dreamer should be aware of what the dream means or suggests
- The dreamer should have the power to concentrate and focus with subjective clarity.
Pre Lucid Dreams
This is the state of the dream where the person who is dreaming is a little puzzled about the fact whether the person is actually sleeping and dreaming, or is awake and conscious. In this type of situation the dreamer may not be able to reach the correct inference. This is often found to occur in people who are deliberately trying to create lucid dreams. However, often people who have no intention of controlling a dream have reported such a state of dream environment too.
Initiation Process of Lucid Dreams
A lucid dream can be initiated in a number of ways. Often it has been found that a dreamer starts seeing a normal dream and then eventually takes control over the dream which thereby gets converted to a lucid dream, and it is in this state that the dream concludes. These types of Lucid Dreams are known as Dream Initiated Lucid Dreams. There is also a second category of Lucid Dreams which is known as a Wake Initiated Lucid Dream. This can be defined as a one where the person enters the mode of REM sleep directly after the phase of conscious waking.
Concept of Time in Lucid Dreams
Researchers have established the fact that when a person is in a state of lucid dreaming the perception of time is same as that the person experiences when in the state of conscious waking life. For example – if the dreamer says that in the lucid dream the dreamer counted time of ten seconds from one to ten, then the start and end of such count would coincide with how the person would have counted had the person been conscious and awake.
State of Awareness and Reasoning in Lucid Dreams
Although researchers have opined that there is a correlation between dream control and dream awareness, there are ample proofs that suggest that these factors function independent of each other. This can be further explained by dreamers in lucid state. When a dreamer is in a lucid state the dreamer is aware and is conscious that he/she can take control of the dream situation, but may simply opt to stay on as a mere observer in the dream. It has been often found that lucid dreamers have been able to retain their targets or goals from waking life even when they are in the dream environment. As such often people have suggested that they have found inspiration or motivation or focus in their lucid dreams. However more often than not many of these dreamers had to experience dreams multiple times in most of which they could not recall their objectives in waking life, and it is after such multiple attempts that they gained this level of control over their dream environment. Researchers have also proved that in a state of lucid dreams the bilateral fronto-polar area of the brain gets extremely active. This part of the brain helps to evaluate one’s thoughts and emotions. This is why people often find various solutions that they seek in their waking life when in a state of lucid dreams.
Theories that counter the concept of Lucid Dreams
- Skeptics of the concept of Lucid Dreams have stated that Lucid Dreams are those that are visualized not in a state of sleep, but when the person is in a state of brief wakeful consciousness.
- They also put forward the fact that there is no way of verifying whether the content as stated by the dreamer is true or not apart from the narration or report of the dreamer.
- Researchers have opined that there is no scientific manner in which it can be ascertained whether a person who claims to be dreaming is actually dreaming or not. Here the statement of the dreamer is the only way to verify the facts.
- Skeptics opine that what is termed as Lucid Dreams should actually be termed as micro awakening. This is because of the fact that Lucid Dreams are reported to happen during the course of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, and the brain activity that taken place during this phase of a person’s sleep is similar to that which takes place when a person is awake.
Some researchers have put forward the theory that the the physiological state of someone who is having a lucid dream can be compared to that of someone who is in some other state of consciousness, for example, meditation.
|Body Parts in Dreams||Chase Dreams||Cheating Dreams|
|Common Dreams||Daydreams||Death Dreams|
|Epic Dreams||Falling Dreams||Flying Dreams|
|Lucid Dreams||Naked Dreams||Nightmares|
|Prophetic Dreams||Recurring Dreams||Snake Dreams|
|Teeth Dreams||Test Dreams|
|Dream Theories of C.G. Jung||Dream Theories of Calvin S. Hall, Jr.||Dream Theories of Frederick Perls|
|Dream Theory of Alfred Adler||Sigmund Freud’s Dream Theory|