(Originally published on June 30th, 2014 on The Wannabe Scientist.)
You were flying, practicing magic, or doing whatever normal mortals couldn’t do. You woke up, and you knew that you were dreaming. However, it wasn’t just a dream. It was a lucid dream, one where you are aware that you’re dreaming. We all have lucid dreams. Knowing how it works can help us understand more about the mysterious workings of our brain.
True, your brains are busy while you are conscious, dealing with homework, tests, chores and a lot more. But when you fall asleep, is your brain more restful than when you are awake? Lucid dreaming occurs during a stage of sleep called REM, where our eyes flicker wildly in correspondence to our dreams. They happen in short bursts at night instead of continuously. Our brains’ signal gets busy, and it temporarily paralyzes the limps to enable us to dream.
Why does lucid dream matter? After all, they are just dreams—not reality. Actually, lucid dreams are important in a few ways: they provide adventure and excitement. A person spends six years of their life dreaming on average. If so much time is spent—why not spend them wisely and try to gain new experiences from them? Everything is literally possible in dreams; there are no rules, no limits. The only boundary is your imagination. That is the land where all wishes can come true.
Lucid dreams also provide creative inspirations. I’m sure all of you know Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. That story’s inspiration came to the author of the book, Stevenson in a dream. Misery, It, and many other great works of Stephen King came to him in lucid dreams too. In his novel, Bag of Bones, written in 1998, Stephen King wrote, “Perhaps in dreams, everyone is a novelist.”
The lucid dream is a miraculous thing, it provides ideas and motivation for humans to work for an even better society and know more about the uncharted regions of the brain. There are many sources that claim that they have found a way, but I don’t think any of them are quite legitimate. People often try to find something illogical in a dream (much like how the top never stops spinning in Inception) and reason out the fact that you are in a dream in order to realize that they are, in fact, lucid dreaming.
Lucid dreaming is scientifically proven to be real. Whether these tricks (with an easy Google) to achieve the state of lucid dreaming are real or not are up to you to decide.