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Lisa Tran

UWRT 1102
Professor Morgan
April 2015
Lucid Dreams:
Why and How to Lucid dream?
What would your dreams be about if you had the ability to control them? Lucid
dreaming is when you are aware that you are dreaming. When you are lucid dreaming it
is possible to have control of your dreams, meaning you get to choose what happens and
where. Dreams play a significant part in our lives, naturally, we dream every time we
sleep. Dreaming is like watching a movie of you with having no control of what is
happening. What if I tell you there is a way to become the director of your dreams and
help yourself at the same time?
Lucid dreaming has been practiced for thousands of years. The Ancient Egyptians
recorded the first lucid dreams more than 5,000 years ago. Frederik van Eeden, a Dutch
scientist, came up with the term. Lucid dreams are very vivid and realistic. When lucid
dreaming you are able to alter the course of your dreams and have some sort of control of
your dream. Lucid dreamers can set up the plot of their dreams, even before they go to
sleep. Just like reading and writing, lucid dreaming is a skill that anyone can learn to do,
all you need is practice.
Lucid dreams (LDs) are believe to occur during REM, the final phase of the sleep
cycle that is closely related to dreams and wakefulness. During REM unlike the rest of
your body muscle, your eyes are not paralyzed, so your eyes sweep from left to right in
your dreams, just as they do in real life (Wen). During lucidity, parts of our brain works
together more intensely than in any other dream phases. The frontal lobe and regions of

the cerebral cortex plays a major role in lucid dreaming. Recent studies shows that the
brain's activity during lucid dreaming is similar to the waking consciousness (Voss).
Most of the time lucid dreaming is a spontaneous event for most people, some
have an innate talent for achieving lucidity. Most of the time lucid dreaming is a
spontaneous event for most people, some have an innate talent for achieving lucidity. The
two essentials aspects to learning lucid dreaming are motivation and effort. The ability to
remember your dreams is a key factor to success for lucid dreaming; it increases your
chance of being able to lucid dream. (Lucidity institute)
Being able to recall your dreams make you aware that you are dreaming because you
become familiar with features and patterns of your dreams (Harrar).
There are various ways and techniques for lucid dreaming. The two most common
strategies are recording your dreams and reality testing. Many people spend weeks
recording their dreams in a dream journal. The trick is having your journal right next to
your bed so that as soon as you wake up, you can write down your dream so you will not
forget it. By keeping a journal it assists in helping you remember your dreams and
recognize dream signs or the weird things (Harrar). It also helps identify themes of
your dreams.
Reality testing is constantly asking yourself whether you are awake or dreaming.
Eventually, you will ask if you are awake or dreaming in your sleep. There are many
ways to check if you are dreaming, such as becoming aware of your dream signs. Another
reality test is checking the time because clocks and watches are often inaccurate or
impossible for you to read the time. If you are able to read the time, look away and look
back, if something changed, it would indicate you are dreaming, Other ways people
check whether or not they are dreaming are checking for their wedding rings and

counting their fingers. (Wen) Everyone has his or her own indications; it just depends on
the individual.
The speed of learning how to LD depends on many individual factors. Some
people acquire the skill faster than others. There are various ways to help or assist you in
achieving lucidity, such as napping and apps. Stephen LaBerge, a leader in the scientific
study of lucid dreaming noticed that lucidity came easier during afternoon naps. A study
showed that those who practiced the nap technique increased the chance of having a LD
15 to 20 percent than those who did not practice any technique (Lucidity Institute).
Another way to help you LD is apps, now there are multiple apps on your smartphone to
help you track and aid in lucid dreaming. One app called Dreamz is specifically designed
for lucid dreaming. It tracks your movement to determine your sleep cycle and plays and
audio cue to serve as a dream sign.
Why should you Lucid dream? Many People said that their first lucid dream was
the most wonderful experience of their lives. When dreaming you have endless
possibilities and are not restricted by anything. During lucidity you are aware that you
have freedom to do whatever you please and there will not be any consequences for your
The most common reason why most people LD is for adventure and fantasy. You
are able to dream of anything you want such as meeting celebrities, doing something you
have always wanted to do or having superpowers, the possibilities are endless. The two
most common LDs are flying and sex, surprising?
Everyone should experience lucid dreaming at least once in their lifetime. Most
LDs are positive, rewarding experiences. During lucidity, nightmares can turn fear into a
conscious courage. By being aware that you are dreaming, it can help you feel better

since you are aware that it is not really happening. . Most of the time lucid dreaming is a
spontaneous event for most people, some have an innate talent for achieving lucidity
(Lucidity Institute). LDs are not dangerous un any way and you can not become addicted
to dreaming because we have limited REM sleep.
Until recently most scientist thought of lucid dreaming as a curiosity or a way to
fulfill ones fantasies. However, recent studies showed that there are practical uses for
LDs. It can be used as a form of therapy for chronic nightmares sufferers and PTSD,
Have nightmares? During lucidity you are able to have some control of your
dreams. Chronic nightmare sufferers often find that LD treatment is the only source of
relief because they know that it is not really happening and is able to control the course of
their dream. A study in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics in October 2006 found that
those who learned how to increase their frequency of lucid dreams reported fewer
nightmares afterward, although the exact mechanism underlying the relief is unclear
(Voss). Scientist believes that being aware that you are dreaming, it allows you to
distance yourself emotionally from the dream's content.
Its estimated that approximately 8 percent of adults suffer from nightmares
(Wen). Lucid dreaming may also treat other various problems that are connected to
nightmares such as depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder. Nightmare is a
common symptom for these problems. LDs are currently gaining grounds for the
treatment of PTSD.
There are numerous types of treatment for PTSD such as yoga, acupuncture, and
even prescribed medical marijuana. Lucid dreaming is a unique method that is recently
gaining popularity. PTSD treated by LDs involves sourcing associated nightmares, and
facing them in a couple of different ways. By approaching your problem while you dream

it furthers your comprehension of yourself and sources deeply embedded problems that
can be otherwise unexplainable. Others take a milder approach with dream therapy and
believe that letting nightmares naturally surface and alleviate themselves is more
appropriate. (Parmer) Even though lucid dreaming is a complex treatment and it takes
time for someone to learn it, it is still a promising treatment.
There is still much more to learn about lucid dreaming. LDs potential for
therapy, problem solving or pure entertainment could be limitless (Voss). Try
experiencing lucid dreaming yourself and becoming the director of your dreams.
Happy lucid dreaming!