Lucid Dreaming

Essay by Jon BrantUniversity, Bachelor'sB, May 1995

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This is an essay I did for a Psychology class on Sleep and Dreaming. It's an interesting essay that is good reading even for fun.

Lucid Dreaming

Dreams are the playground of the mind. Anything can happen when one is dreaming. The only limitation is that we only rarely realize the freedoms granted to us in our dreams while we have them. Lucid dreaming is the ability to know when one is dreaming, and be able to influence what will be dreamt. A normal dream is much like passively watching a movie take place in your skull. In a lucid dream, the dreamer is the writer, director, and star of the movie. Lucid dreams are exceptionally interesting.

Lucid dreaming is defined as dreaming when the dreamer knows that they are dreaming. The term was coined during the 1910Õs by Frederik van Eeden who used the word 'lucid' in the sense of mental clarity (Green, 1968).

Lucidity usually begins in the midst of a dream, when the dreamer realizes that the experience is not occurring in physical reality, but is a dream. Often this realization is triggered by the dreamer noticing some impossible or unlikely occurrence in the dream, such as meeting a person who is dead, or flying with or without wings. Sometimes people become lucid without noticing any particular clue in the dream; they just suddenly realize that they are in a dream. A minority of lucid dreams (about 10 percent) are the result of returning to REM sleep directly from an awakening with unbroken reflective consciousness (LaBerge, 1985). These types of lucid dreams occur most often during daytime napping. If the napper has been REM deprived from a previous night of little sleep their chances of having a REM period at sleep onset are increased. If the napper...