I’m here today to let everyone in on a secret. Some of you might not believe me when I explain it. Either way, I’m going to be talking about dreaming, but more specifically, lucid dreaming. Some of you may have experienced this phenomenon before and didn’t know to label it as a ‘lucid’ dream. Some of you probably can’t even remember your dreams from night to night. But I chose to do read my book a field guide on lucid dreaming because I’ve read a little about lucid dreaming in the past and it really interested me.
Everyone has had a dream. They can be realistic, intense, happy, sad, or even nightmarish experiences. Sometimes they can have a huge impact on us, or like most of them, they are forgotten as soon as we wake up. My favorite thing about them though, and the thing that fascinates me about them is how little we know about them. The mystery behind them. Why do we dream? Do dreams have any meaning? Why do some dreams feel so real?
Before we can dive into lucid dreaming, let’s start with regular old dreams. What is a dream? According to Merriam Webster, a dream is, “a series of thoughts, visions, or feelings that happen during sleep”. Now I mentioned earlier the fact that, a percentage of people do not remember their dreams. This could be a result of multiple different things, or many at once. The one I fall prey to most of the time is, not giving any thought to the dream after you’ve had it, because you simply don’t care. It could also be that you are not getting enough sleep.
Most memorable dreams occur in the R.E.M., or (rapid eye movement) cycle of sleep which first occurs around 90 minutes after falling asleep, and then recurs about every 90 minutes, getting longer each time. By getting very little sleep, you won’t experience the longer R.E.M. stages, therefore, no vivid dreams. Sleeping is vital to humans if we want to function properly each and every day, but what’s the purpose of dreaming? There have been many studies and experiments that have been conducted to find a reason. Some theories include; our bodies will dream as a way of acting out different situations, primarily so that if we encounter them in real life we can execute them safely, like practicing. Also, some believe that dreams are related to how we form memories. Studies show that, individuals that were studying in a language course during the day, had increased dream activity at night. But in the end, all we have are theories.
I haven’t always been fascinated with this topic though. I can still remember the day when I was introduced to Lucid Dreaming, through a movie called inception. “Have you ever wished that you could fly? Or have magical powers? Or create your own fantasy world? Or do something that’s in no way possible in real life? Well there is a way to make this come true. You might say, yeah, in your dreams buddy. But that is the answer. In your dreams you can do anything. You can control your dreams. Now, to control your dreams, you have to remain conscious...