Our brain builds a reality that is totally separate from the outside world every night. The dream experience usually feels so real that we don’t realize that until we wake up, it’s actually a dream. But sometimes people become aware that they dream during a dream and from there they have the ability to control and bend the reality of their dreams.
1. A lucid dream starts out just like any normal dream
Dreams are unconscious visual manifestations of already floating information and memories in our heads. That’s why we know all the pictures in our dreams. There may be new characters or places in a dream technically, but they’re really a mix of things you’ve seen before, Breus says.
2. But when you start to lucid dream?
Lucid dreaming was first described by the Dutch psychiatrist Frederick Van Eeden in 1913 to recount a dream in which he could act voluntarily and be fully aware of his waking life — but he was still so deeply sleeping that no external stimuli or body sensations entered his dream perception.
3. Lucid dreams aren’t the same as nightmares
If you’ve ever had a nightmare in which you begin to realize that you’re not in real danger right before you wake up, that’s not a clear dream. “The lack of control is what makes a nightmare so scary, and it’s a natural process driven by emotions and stress, “says Breus.
So when you wake up from a nightmare right before you get attacked, It’s actually your heart rate and breathing from the nightmare’s stress that brings you out of sleep.
4. About half the population has experienced lucid dreaming
Researchers found that about 51 percent of people experienced a lucid dream at least once, according to a popular German study. “We’re not sure how many of those people are regular or frequent lucid dreamers and how long episodes last, “Breus says, And since lucid dreaming is based on self-reporting, it is likely understated.
5. There isn’t a known cause, but it might be linked to being more introspective or having more gray matter in your brain
“Studies have shown that people who are more reflective or introspective of their inner thinking are more likely than others to have lucid dreams, “says Martinez-Conde. Some data show that people who can dream lucidly tend to have higher metacognitive ability as well, which is basically the ability to reflect on and report one’s mental state. So when you think about thinking, basically.