Lucid Dreams » How Well Do You Sleep?

What Are Lucid Dreams?

By definition, Lucid dreams are dreams during which the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming. During a lucid dream, the dreamer may gain some amount of control over the dream characters, narrative, and environment. However, this is not actually necessary for a dream to be described as lucid.

The very first record of lucid dreaming appears to feature in the treatise On Dreams by the Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. In it, he describes an instance of self-awareness during a dream state.

For example, if the sleeper perceives that he is asleep, and is conscious of the sleeping state during which the perception comes before his mind, it presents itself still. But, something within him speaks to this effect.

On the contrary, it is unclear how many people actually experience lucid dreams. Though certain studies have tried to gather information regarding its prevalence; and it seems that this phenomenon may be quite common.

Lucid Dreams
Lucid Dreams: What are they?

What Happens When You Sleep?

A lot happens in your body while you sleep. When you get your ZZZs, you cycle between REM and non-REM sleep.

REM stands for rapid eye movement. During REM sleep, your eyes move quickly in different directions. That doesn’t happen during non-REM sleep.

First comes non-REM sleep, followed by a shorter period of REM sleep, and then the cycle starts over again. Not to mention, Dreams typically happen during REM sleep.

Usually, REM sleep happens 90 minutes after you fall asleep. The first period of REM typically lasts 10 minutes. Each of your later REM stages gets longer, and the final one may last up to an hour. Your heart rate and breathing quicken.

You can have intense dreams during REM sleep since your brain is more active. Babies can spend up to 50% of their sleep in the REM stage, compared to only about 20% for adults.

How Lucid Dreams Happen
The World of Fantasy: How Lucid Dreams Happen – Image by Jess Foami from Pixabay

How Do Lucid Dreams Happen?

Like most dreams, lucid dreaming will typically occur during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. For some people, it occurs spontaneously.

However, others train themselves to start dreaming lucidly, or to become better at it.

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