This article on Epainassist.com has been reviewed by a medical professional, as well as checked for facts, to assure the readers the best possible accuracy.

We follow a strict editorial policy and we have a zero-tolerance policy regarding any level of plagiarism. Our articles are resourced from reputable online pages. This article may contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.

The feedback link “Was this Article Helpful” on this page can be used to report content that is not accurate, up-to-date or questionable in any manner.

This article does not provide medical advice.


Unveiling the Secrets of Lucid Dreaming : A Fascinating Phenomenon Explained

What Is Lucid Dreaming?

Lucid dreaming is a form of dreaming that might seem like a fantasy, however, it is real and is also backed up with scientific evidence. This is a phenomenon in which the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming and has the power to control and manipulate their dreams. Lucid dreaming can be a powerful experience in anyone’s life, allowing dreamers to explore their subconscious minds and reap its benefits.

As you read further you will get an insight into the wonderful science behind lucid dreaming while unlocking many of the secrets related to it and also know about its health benefits.

The Secrets Of Lucid Dreaming

The REM Phase Of Sleep And Lucid Dreaming

A dreamer experiences lucid dreaming during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phases of sleep. The body is temporarily paralyzed and the brain is highly active during this phase.

Study suggests a similarity between brain activity during lucid dreaming and brain activity during sleep paralysis.(1)

Studies have shown that lucid dreaming happens during the REM sleep phase and involves activity in the prefrontal cortex.

Citing an example, a small study tried to stimulate the prefrontal cortex while a dreamer was in the REM phase of sleep to induce lucid dreaming. Though the effects were not extremely powerful, the results have suggested that, for those who lucid dream frequently, this stimulation could include the chances of a lucid dream slightly.(2)

Lucid Dreaming and The Brain

A study has specified accurately that the brain regions which are involved in lucid dreams are the pre-frontal cortex and the precuneus.(3) These areas of the brain are linked with higher cognitive abilities like self-referential processing and a sense of agency.

New research that has been published in an issue of The Journal of Neuroscience revealed primarily the anterior prefrontal cortex of the brain which enables self-reflection is larger in lucid dreamers as compared with non-lucid dreamers.(4)

The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that is responsible for self-awareness, decision-making, and working memory. This depicts that lucid dreaming is not merely a random occurrence, but a cognitive process occurring in lucid dreamers, involving the conscious control of their mind.

In a surprising development in 2014, scientists were able to stimulate lucid dreaming by passing electrical currents in the low gamma band through the brains of sleeping subjects.(5)

Studies That Show Lucid Dreaming Can Control Your Thoughts

About half of us will be experiencing at least one lucid dream in our lifetime.(6) Though lucid dreaming is still an understudied subject, some recent advances have suggested that it is a hybrid state of sleep and waking consciousness.

Some lucid dreamers can experience awareness while dreaming by “re-awakening” some aspects of their waking consciousness. They can also take control and even act with proper intention in their dream world. Lucid dreaming could be one of the most abnormal experiences that can happen during sleep.

Participants from a recent study reported that lucid dreams (compared to non-lucid dreams) were characterized by far greater insight into the fact that they were in a dream. Participants of the study who experience lucid dreams also mentioned that they had greater control over thoughts and actions within their dreams, they could even logically think, and could even access the real memories of their waking lives.(7)

Another study examined the ability of individuals to make conscious decisions in their waking life as well as during lucid and non-lucid dreams. It found a large degree of overlap between volitional abilities when they were having lucid dreams and when they were aware.(8) However, their ability to plan was quite miserable in lucid dreams when compared to their wakefulness.

Some Other Secrets Behind Lucid Dreaming

Children Naturally Experience Lucid Dreams

Children are naturally lucid dreamers. A recent study from Harvard looked at children from 6 years to 16 years and found that most of them reported experiencing lucid dreams regularly as a major part of their childhood development.

Lucid Dreaming Gives You More Energy

Many people think that lucid dreaming could make them feel extremely tired. On the contrary, once we become lucid dreamers, our brain moves into a gamma wave brain state and this state of the brain is generally associated with individuals who have meditation for more than 10, 000 hours in their lives. But because lucid dreaming is a natural state of meditation, your brain shifts to a gamma wave state and this will give you more energy and mindfulness while you are in your waking state.

The Secret Behind Achieving Lucid Dreaming

Let us now explore the secret behind achieving lucid dreaming. Follow the various methods to achieve the same.

Keep A Deam Journal

Keeping a dream journal and maintaining it daily can aid you increase your dream recall and also recognize patterns or themes of recurring dreams. Ultimately, this can help you become more aware when you are dreaming during your sleeping hours.

NOTE: Make sure to write as many details as possible or as much as you can remember as soon as you wake up.

Try The Technique Of Reality Checks

This technique of reality checks involves going for frequent checks during your waking time to see if you are dreaming. For instance, while looking at your hands or your watch, you can ask yourself, “Am I dreaming?” When you do this daily, you will be more likely to perform the same check in your dreams and even realize that you are dreaming.

Try The Wake-Back-To-Bed Technique (WBTB)

This is another technique that can help you become a lucid dreamer. It involves waking up after a few hours of sleep, remaining awake for a while, and then going back to sleep. This will help you to more likely enter a lucid dream in your second sleep cycle.

Go For The Mnemonic Induction Of Lucid Dreams (MILD)

This technique makes you focus on a specific intention before you go to sleep. For instance, you can repeat the phrase, “I will realize that I am dreaming” many times before falling asleep. This will increase your chance to remember your intention and you can recognize that you are dreaming.

Historical Masters Who Have Mastered And Benefited From Lucid Dreamers

Many successful people like Nikola Tesla, Salvador Dali, and Richard Feynman have been known to practice lucid dreaming and benefited from it. Nikola Tesla reportedly used his lucid dreams to work on several complex engineering problems and also to test his inventions before creating them in real life.

Similarly, Richard Feynman used his lucid dreams for exploring and visualizing scientific concepts. Salvador Dali also used his lucid dreams as inspiration for his artwork.

Health Benefits Of Lucid Dreaming

Lucid dreaming has some therapeutic effects and is known to benefit our health. Let us see below some of them.

Lucid Dreaming Helps You Overcome Nightmares

Sometimes or the other, one might experience nightmares. However, recurring nightmares can cause anxiety and stress. They are generally associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, depression, insomnia, stress, substance abuse, and even certain medication.

Lucid dreaming might help the dreamer control the dream, know that they are dreaming, and recognize that the nightmare is not real.

Lucid dreaming is often used in imagery rehearsal therapy (IRT), where a therapist helps individuals reimagine recurring nightmares with different and pleasant storylines. IRT with lucid dreaming induction when used with cognitive behavioral therapy can help you to increase control over your dream.

A small study conducted in 2017 examined this particular effect and included 33 military veterans with PTSD and recurring nightmares. Some of them received CBT with IRT, and others received only CBT. The group that received CBT along with IRT experienced higher control over dreams and this also reduced nightmare-induced stress.

But again, researchers who studied lucid dreaming for post-traumatic stress disorder have found that, according to self-assessments, lucid dream therapy or LTD did not affect the severity of nightmare.(10)

Lucid Dreaming Can Ease Anxiety

Research has primarily focused on PTSD and anxiety induced by nightmares. According to anecdotal evidence, it has been found lucid dreaming can ease anxiety caused due to other reasons. Some people claim that when they can control their dreams, they can confront different situations that would otherwise cause them anxiety.

Motor Skills Get Improved Through Lucid Dreaming

Research conducted in 2013 suggested that mentally practicing motor skills through lucid dreaming could enhance the physical ability to perform them while awake.(11) It can be said that lucid dreaming could benefit physical rehabilitation significantly. Therefore, individuals with physical disabilities can practice motor skills through lucid dreaming and reap the benefits of improved motor function.

Risks Associated With Trying To Achieve Lucid Dreaming

Some negative aspects of lucid dreaming could be as follows.

  • Techniques of MILD and WBTB involve waking up during your sleep schedule in the night and these interruptions can make it hard for you to get proper rest, particularly if you are suffering from sleep disorders.
  • Interruptions in sleep can increase the symptoms of depression if you are suffering from depression.
  • Sleep problems can increase the risk of getting sleep paralysis.

Final Words

Lucid dreaming is a fascinating phenomenon that happens when you are aware during sleep that you are dreaming and might even control the intentions and storyline of your dream. You experience lucid dreams during the REM phase of your sleep. Lucid dreaming can help in treating various conditions including recurring nightmares, PTSD, and so on. It is also thought that lucid dreaming can also help in improving motor skills and help in physical rehabilitation.

With so many techniques like MILD, WILD, WBTB, reality check, and so on, anyone can increase their chances of acquiring lucid dreams and changing their thoughts. However, If you are experiencing any sleep disorder, PTSD, or any other mental health issue, it is advisable to seek professional medical advice.


Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 24, 2023

Recent Posts

Related Posts