What is Lucid Dreaming? Copy

  • A lucid dream occurs when the person is asleep but are consciously aware that they are in a dream. This realisation triggers a waking consciousness and allows a person to apply it during their dream. This enables a vast range of possibilities and benefits, such as being able to practice new skills or to tap into parts of your inner psyche which would otherwise be off-limits in your waking life! Advanced lucid dreamers, once in this state, can even control the narrative and environment of their dream to some extent. 

    Studies have suggested that around 50% of people have or will experience lucid dreams in their lifetime, but only a small fraction experience them on a regular basis. However, with enough practice as well as focus, you can increase the frequency and quality of lucid dreams. Lucid dreaming is a skill which can be developed; there are many techniques and exercises that can improve your ability to trigger the realisation that your dream is not reality (therefore inducing a lucid dream), and secondly to remember them when they occur. The most effective starting points for improving in these areas will be introduced during this course.    

  

  • The term “lucid dream” was only coined in 1913 by Dutch psychiatrist van Eeden, but the ideas of dream awareness have been around for ages. For example, the ancient Hindu practice of Yoga Nidra and the Tibetan Buddhist practice of dream Yoga are centred on developing an awareness that one is dreaming, and the phenomenon was also referenced by Greek writers such as Aristotle.  

  

  • Serious attempts to measure lucid dreams scientifically and objectively on people only occurred in the last 40/50 years. Studies have shown that lucid dreams largely occur during our REM (rapid eye movement) cycle of sleep. REM typically begins around 90 minutes after we fall asleep; during this stage our eyes move rapidly from side to side while they are closed, breathing becomes faster, and brain activity/heart rate significantly increase, almost to waking levels. Research has also shown that there is heightened activity in the frontal lobe of a person’s brain while they are dreaming, which is the part of the brain responsible for many of our cognitive functions such as memory, attention, motivation, and empathy!