Everyone can admit dreaming is a bizarre mental state. It takes you to all kinds of places, throws you back into a memory, and smashes together a kaleidoscope things that in the real world would be strange, like fishing for birds on the moon. To top it all off, you wake up and can hardly remember any of it. Well, lucid dreaming dials all that to eleven. Not only that, it puts you in the driver’s seat, letting you control the direction of the dream. Perhaps you’ve had a lucid dream in the past or want to find out how you can have one in the future? From the benefits of lucid dreaming to the percentage of natural lucid dreamers, we’ve got some of your burning questions covered. Here are 25 Bizarre Facts About Lucid Dreaming.
Lucid dreaming is when you can consciously control your dreams and may even experience them like they're real life.
It was first described by Dutch psychiatrist Frederick Van Eeden in 1913, recounting a dream where he could voluntarily act but also knew he was dreaming.
The only time you can lucid dream is during the REM sleeping phase. In this stage, your muscles are still but your eye-movement is working in overtime.
According to a study, over half the world's population will lucid dream at one point in their lifetime.
While some have been skeptical of lucid dreaming, scientists have proven it occurs thanks to many conclusive studies. These studies include a break-through study at Hull University in 1975 and a study at Neurological Laboratory in Frankfurt in 2009 which studied brainwaves while lucid dreaming.
No one really knows why lucid dreams happen, but some studies have found people with more gray matter in their brains, which is the substance around the cerebrum, tend to have them more.
While over half of the world's population will experience a lucid dream once in their lifetime, only about 20 percent will experience one per month.
While people claim they have total control in a lucid dream, in reality, the amount of control they truly have varies. No one really has total control.
Some claim lucid dreaming can be a good rehearsal space to practice real-life activities, like public speaking or standing up to your boss.
According to one study, taking Vitamin B6 before sleeping could help with dream recall and might even put you in a lucid dreaming state.
Thousands of studies have shown meditation can be great for your overall health, but it's also a potentially key to unlocking lucid dreaming. Simply put, if you want to have more lucid dreams - meditate.
A study at Harvard University found that if you try to visualize what you want to dream about before you go to bed, there's a chance you'll lucid dream about it that night.
The same study also found if you think about a problem you want solved, you might be able to solve it in your lucid dream. This especially goes for problems that need visuals to help come to a solution.
Some people are so good at lucid dreaming, they claim their dreams feel more real than actual reality.
Lucid dreams might help you kick a bad habit. One lucid dreamer claimed they smoked for 14 years and couldn't quit, but once they started smoking in their lucid dreams, they quit in the real world.
The negative side effects can be feelings of intense fear, sadness, and many other negative emotions that might create a lucid nightmare.
With that said, a big concern of lucid dreaming is something known as "dream claustrophobia." It's when someone becomes lucid in a nightmare and are unable to escape or manipulate the situation.
Another potential problem is sleep paralysis. Since your body is paralyzed but your mind is lucid, you might want to wake up and move your body, but can't. The helplessness involved stirs up intense feelings of terror.
Want to hear more about sleep paralysis? Check out these 25 Scary Facts About Sleep Paralysis.