Everyone dreams, it is a proven fact. Even animals dream. Dreams have a vital function for human beings, both physically and psychologically. We distinguish the classic dream where the subject is a spectator of a scenario imposed by the unconscious and the subconscious. The progress of science has allowed us to identify another category of dreams: the lucid dream or dream of full consciousness. It is a dream where the individual is aware of what is happening and can sometimes act on the dream environment. It is estimated that about 50% of the population has lucid dreams. A more esoteric approach suggests that lucid dreams can be the manifestation of great spirituality. But then what’s a lucid dream? How to recognize a lucid dream?
What is the difference between a dream and a lucid dream?
To answer the question: what’s a lucid dream, we must first try to understand the difference between a classic dream and a lucid dream.
A dream is a mental production that occurs during our sleep. The dream occurs during a sleep cycle mainly during the phases of deep sleep and REM sleep. It is a production of our brain over which we have no control and no power. Dreams are imposed on us without us being able to choose their content. Whether in psychoanalysis or in philosophy, dreams are of vital use for the proper functioning of the body and the mind. It is the place of expression of our unconscious.
Lucid dreaming works like classic dreams, with the difference that we are in a state of full consciousness when we dream. A lucid dream is a dream where the sleeper is perfectly aware of being in a dream and can even control the narrative of the dream. This is impossible in a classic dream.
To learn more about the classic dream, we invite you to consult our article on the subject: what is a dream.
What exactly is a lucid dream?
The big question is: what’s a lucid dream? The lucid dream differs from the classic dream in the fact that it is conscious. There are several types of lucid dreams and different levels of lucidity in a lucid dream.
The lucid dream: definition and meaning
A lucid dream is a conscious dream. This means that the dreamer is perfectly aware that he is dreaming and can act on the environment of his dream. He/she is able to make decisions and choices and to think critically about what is happening. One can recall with precision everything that happened in a lucid dream.
The different types of lucid dreams
There are several types of lucid dreams, each with its own specificities:
– Prelucid dreams: these are dreams during which the sleeper suspects that he is dreaming but is not 100% sure. He has a doubt about the reality that surrounds him without really realizing that he is dreaming. The person cannot influence the dream environment.
– Dreams of false awakening: these are dreams during which the individual thinks he or she has woken up. In reality, it is the setting of the dream that has changed, the place.
– Sleep paralysis: sleep paralysis is a state where the sleeper cannot move or speak. It is like being paralyzed. This state corresponds to an intrusion of REM sleep during an awakening phase. In REM sleep, the body is at complete rest and does not move. A too rapid transition or a sudden awakening in the middle of a REM dream can lead to a few seconds of sleep paralysis.
– An out-of-body experience (OBE): in a lucid dream, one can have the impression of leaving one’s body and observe the scene as a spectator. This type of experience is very similar to near-death experiences, shamanic trances or ecstatic trances. In esotericism, this is called astral travel with an impression of dissociation between the body and the mind.
The different levels of lucidity in the mindfulness dream
All lucid dreams are different. There are several levels of lucidity in mindfulness dreams:
– Simple lucidity known as basic lucidity: the dreamer realizes that he is dreaming. He is able to have a slightly critical mind about the situation. However, he cannot exercise control over the dream and the narrative. It is a passive consciousness.
– Lucidity: the individual knows he is dreaming and is able to think critically. They can control certain aspects of their dream and the scenario.
– Full lucidity: The individual is in full possession of all his mental faculties during his dream. He can control the entire content of his dream. His brain functions exactly as when he is awake.
How to have a lucid dream?
Lucid dreaming is very attractive. More then knowing what’s a lucid dream, what’s interesting is being able to control your dreams. This would allow you to realize your wildest dreams: you could choose to fly, create a psychedelic world, invent a language, talk to animals and many other things.
Many experts and researchers have studied the question of lucid dreaming. They have tried to find out if it is possible to voluntarily immerse oneself in a lucid dream. They were able to develop several techniques that with a little training allow the individual to induce a lucid dream.
There are several techniques that allow one to promote lucid dreaming:
– Practice dream awareness: train yourself to remember your dreams by writing them down in a notebook every day.
– Repeat to yourself every night before going to sleep that you are going to have a lucid dream, that you are aware of your dreams. This will put you in a state of mind conducive to lucidity.
– Learn to recognize the signs of dreams: identify the scenarios that repeat themselves and put in place techniques to activate your consciousness when these dreams occur. For example, pinch yourself (in your dream).
There are several other exercises and techniques to use to promote lucid dreaming.
We explain in detail in this article how to have a lucid dream by giving you several techniques and methods.