Lucid dreams are really interesting phenomena… and super simple to understand! To have a lucid dream is to have a dream, while knowing that you have that dream. In fact, it is to be aware that you are dreaming, hence the name “lucid dreams”.
Introduction to lucid dreams
This phenomenon is only very recent, the first scientific research on lucid phases during sleep dates back only to the late 1970s with Stephen LaBerge, a great researcher and pillar in the study of the lucid dream.
Moreover, dreams, in general, are subjects that are all the more interesting and misunderstood, both scientifically and philosophically: Why are we dreaming? Is there any meaning to these dreams? Is it rational? Irrational? Thus, many questions and perhaps as many answers to these questions as people. The fact is that everyone dreams, babies and adults alike, even animals dream! (including earthworms, but one might well wonder what they are dreaming of). Now let’s see why we are particularly interested in lucid dreams.
The characteristics of lucid dreams
Lucid dreams most often take place in REM sleep phases, these are phases where the person is not totally asleep, but is not totally awake either (for example, during this phase, our eyelids are closed but our eyes still move under them)…
In fact, the line between being asleep and being awake lasts an average of 15 minutes, and it is during this phase that people may eventually be able to have a lucid dream. For that, you just have to be able to realize that you are in a dream to be lucid… without waking up. If you can’t do it the first time, tell yourself that you have an average of 5 phases of REM sleep per night of sleep, so you should be able to realize it at least once.
The benefits of lucid dreams
Achieving a lucid dream is extremely difficult, there is no clear strategy to increase your chances of having one. Just really want it and try it until it works.
However, once you get there, that’s when the fun part starts….because once you’re lucid, you can control your dream, modify it, change its course, do whatever you want! Fly on the back of a dragon, taste the best dishes in the world, make the best attractions of Disneyland… The possibilities are as great as your imagination.
The other good thing is that your dream also affects reality, you can imagine, for example, a shy person who practices talking to people in his dreams.
A parallel setting: Mind over Matter
I just want to finish on Erin M. Shackell and Lionel G. Standing’s Mind over Matter experiment: the experiment is a 2-week weight training period consisting of 5 times 15 minutes of weight training per day. 30 people of the same sex and physical condition were divided into 3 groups of 10 people. The first group was to do the physical work requested during the sessions, the second group was to imagine doing the work requested during the sessions and the third group was just a control group that was not to do anything.
After the 2 weeks of work, the first group had an average increase of 28% in muscle mass, the third group had no significant increase, and the second group had a 24% increase in muscle mass! We can see that just thinking about building up muscles can lead to a significant result without having to contract a single muscle.
If it is possible to achieve concrete results just by thinking about having them, then imagine the potential of lucid dreams…
Written by Maamar Djebbour, Translated by Rémy Samkocwa