Dreams are incredibly intriguing and can provide insight into our conscious and unconscious thoughts, fears, feelings, and beliefs. Almost everyone can recall specific dreams that have occurred sometime in life. Sometimes we may wake up and remember a weird dream we had the night before. Other times we may not remember a single dream we had that night. However, there are times in which we are aware that we are dreaming while the dreams are occurring; these are known as lucid dreams. Anyone can have a lucid dream; however, they tend to be most common in children than in adults.
History of Lucid Dreams
Lucid dreams have been a topic of discussion over the last few decades. However, it is far from a new phenomenon. As early as 415 AD, St. Augustine wrote a letter that alluded to lucid dreams. Despite the presence of these dreams in our lives, it was not until Frederik van Eeden, a Dutch psychiatrist, coined the term “lucid dreams” that we had a name for these conscious dreams. Since this time, a surplus of research and scientific experiments has been conducted to learn more about these intriguing dreams.
Entering Lucid Dreams
There are two ways to enter into a lucid dream: dream-initiated and wake-initiated. In dream-initiated lucid dreams, a person begins dreaming and in the middle of the dream he or she becomes conscious that they are dreaming. On the other hand, a wake-initiated lucid dream refers to when a person goes from being awake to dreaming without ever leaving consciousness. The following example provides clarification of the difference between these two types of dreams:
You go to sleep and in the middle of the night, you start dreaming about searching for your car keys throughout your house. In the middle of your dream, you realize that it is all a dream and that you are not actually frantically searching for your keys. This is an example of a dream-initiated lucid dream.
Now, imagine lying down in bed to go to sleep and before you become unconscious, you start dreaming. You are frantically searching for your keys and you are aware that you are merely dreaming; however, there was not a time in which you went from a waking state to an unconscious state before you started dreaming. This is an example of a wake-initiated dream.
Although lucid dreams tend to occur without any thought or planning, there are proven ways to intentionally initiate these dreams with the help of dream specialists. In conclusion, lucid dreams are dreams in which we are conscious while dreaming and can provide an incredible amount of insight into your everyday life.