Dreaming is one of the most fascinating experiences of our brain, a form of subjective expression that is very difficult to investigate, understand its mechanisms and ultimately decipher. Can you imagine being able to control them?
What are lucid dreams?
Lucid dreams are those in which we can have some control over them and live them in an increased way, so they become a much more interactive and exciting experience for the person who dreams lucidly. Furthermore, this is a fact corroborated by science.
It is quite likely that you have ever experienced this type of dream and you know what we are talking about since a high percentage of the population, around 55% of it, according to a recent study (Saunders, 2016) has ever had one or more dreams with these characteristics throughout his life. The same study goes further and found that around 23% of people have lucid dreams at least once a month . Our brain is wonderful, even when we sleep, and there is no doubt that dreams play a very important role in our lives. important, but still to be discovered.
Sleep is important from a biological point of view, it is like a way to recycle ourselves, recover energy and continue with our lives. But during that period, especially during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which represents 25% of all sleep phases. A long time. Doing a quick calculation we could say that we spend about 2 hours a day dreaming.
How to have lucid dreams, according to science
Normally, dreams are not controlled by not being in a conscious state, but it is partly possible to control them and there are even various techniques to learn how to have lucid dreams and improve the experience lived in them as an active part of them, which it also becomes much more emotional, in part because sometimes we wake up remembering the dream or there are even people capable of returning to the same dream, despite becoming aware for a short period of time.
In fact, regarding this aspect, there are studies that have certified that there were people capable of communicating with awake people in a bidirectional way, according to an article published in Current Biology ( Konkoly , 2021).
Have you ever had a lucid dream? If you think you have had it or want to learn how to manage it, we explain below some guidelines to improve the lucid experience.
Learn to have lucid dreams
Not all people are capable of having this type of daydreams, the data reveals that they are usually introverted people, with the capacity to pay attention to their inner world, creative and with a high mental flexibility. Sometimes, we tend to simulate some lack of external interaction in dreams, this may have been revealed during the coronavirus pandemic where many people, due to confinement and lack of external relationship, have led them to have similar experiences during their dreams, altering them.
Some initial premises to manage lucid dreams are:
- Make a dream journal to write when we wake up about what we remember. The experiences of dreams tend to dissipate from our memory quickly if we do not write them down.
- Maintain an awareness of the present moment . Thinking about having a specific dream before bed might help, at least as a goal setting.
- Being open to experimentation, in short, maintaining a curious and awake life about our environment, life, knowledge. The more information we provide to our brain, the more resources we will have to create dreams.
- Check reality . Although it seems strange, we could include some kind of routine to know if the dream is a dream or reality. For example, check if the windows are open or closed, testing that they work correctly.
Techniques applied to have efficient lucid dreams
Other more specific techniques to have lucid dreams are:
- DILD ( Dream ) technique Initiated Lucid Dreams ), based on critical reflection and reality tests .
- WILD technique ( Wake Initiated Lucid Dreams ), through which it is about accessing from the awake state to the lucid dream without losing consciousness.
- SSILD technique ( Senses Initiated Lucid Dreams ), based on focusing attention on the different senses through a cycle routine.
- Binaural beats , related to increased synchronicity of brain waves.
- Techniques based on sleep rhythm disturbance:
- JUMP technique of false awakenings.
- CAT technique ( Cycle adjustment Technique ), related to scheduled morning awakenings (90 minutes earlier than usual, among other premises).
- WBTB technique ( Wake Back To Bed ), also based on scheduled wakeups where you get up and go back to sleep.
I recommend you delve into each one of them to learn the steps to follow to carry them out and get to start the first steps towards a controlled hypnagogic state, which are those sensations (perceiving sounds, tactile sensation, etc.) and mental images that are they produce in the sleep-wake transition that will temporarily take you to the lucid dream state.
Undoubtedly, mastering this type of situation is an emotional experience that can be used to even improve personal aspects or personal problems , investigating reality through dreams.
David T. Saunders, Chris A. Roe, Graham Smith, Helen Clegg (2016). lucid dreaming incidence : A quality effects meta- analysis of 50 years of research . Consciousness and Cognition , 43: 197-215.
Konkoly , Karen R. et al. (2021). Real time dialogue between experimenters and dreamers during REM sleep . Current Biology , 31, 7, 1417-1427.e6