Many people experience lucid dreams spontaneously, simply because their mind is alert during that phase of sleep. Some train themselves to dream lucid, intending to harness the potential of lucid dreams and utilizing them to their advantage. Lucid dreams are known to help with anxiety, nightmares, dispelling phobias, boosting creativity, and improving motor skills.
During lucid dreams, the sleeper is aware a dream is taking place but will not leave the dream state. Some further define these phenomena as dreams in which the sleeper can exercise control over different aspects of their environment, though studies have found this is not always the case, and that certain people are more predisposed to “lucid dream control” than others.
Surveys show that roughly 55% of adults have experienced at least one lucid dream during their lifetime, and 23% of people experience lucid dreams at least once per month. Some research has pointed to potential benefits of lucid dreaming, such as treatment for nightmares. However, other studies argue lucid dreams may have a negative impact on mental health because they can disturb sleep and cause dreamers to blur the lines between reality and fantasy.
Since lucid dreams hover between reality and dreams, people can use lucid dreaming to play out real-life situations. For instance, if you are anxious about an upcoming job interview, you can run it through your mind numerous times before going to bed. Your brain gets accustomed to the scenario and chances are high of the scene playing out in your dreams, where you will have control over your actions. Playing and replaying the scene in your dream, while being aware of what is happening helps in easing anxiety. The fear of the unknown fades away, as you experience the situation.
Creativity boost :
Some practice lucid dreaming consciously to enhance their creativity. They test their imagination while being conscious of their dreams. It is a sort of game to see how far your dreams take you, while you are consciously aware of it. It lays the premise for out-of-the-box thinking since anything can happen in your dreams.
Maintain a journal :
This is the first step to syncing up with your dreams. Get into the habit of writing down every minute detail of your dream immediately as you wake, and make it a habit. It helps you to understand your dreams better —understanding your dreams and thoughts are steps that will lead you to lucid dreams.
Link the dots :
Once you get into the habit of maintaining a detailed dream journal, review it often. Doing so will help you identify a pattern in your dreams. You will recognize if there is a trend of themes, people, or subjects that crop up in your dreams. This will give you an insight into your inner psyche and help you understand what plays in your subconscious mind. Moreover reviewing details of your dreams will also help you pick up signs, teaching your brain how to identify a dream while being conscious of the dreaming state.
A technique to help lucid dreaming:
In this technique, you set an alarm five or six hours after you fall asleep. When the alarm clock rings you wake up during the REM stage of your sleep, when your brain is most active, leading to longer dreams. If you wake up during this stage and then go back to sleep, chances are high that you will re-enter your dream phase and be more conscious of it.