For unknown reasons, humans are never aware they are dreaming as they sleep. However, the phenomenon of lucid dreaming can make you aware of the dreams you are having.
Lucid dreaming enables you to have awareness as you dream yet, you are psychologically asleep. You have an awareness of your conscious state, and on top of that, you are able to dictate the actions you will take as you dream.
Some scientists have cast their doubts as far as lucid dreaming is concerned. However, studies have shown that consciousness arises during REM sleep.
REM (Rapid Eye Movement) usually occurs for about two hours after you fall asleep. At this period, your brain is super active, and it stimulates your brain to improve learning. But how does lucid dreaming and consciousness after each other?
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Are you conscious during lucid dreaming?
They say, when you go to sleep, the brain goes to sleep as well. In the field of neuroscience, the state of your brain staying conscious as you sleep is a perplexing scenario still under research and studies.
To achieve lucid dreaming, your brain has to attain consciousness. It helps you acknowledge the environment of the dream, and it also determines the actions you will take in your dream.
Studying the concept of lucid dreaming will help neuroscientists fully understand how your brain can remain conscious as you sleep.
Lucid dreaming gets facilitated by REM. REM is a state that is experienced differently by lucid dreamers and non-lucid dreamers.
Assuming REM is a signal that a person has entered the lucid dreaming phase, then one is able to study and understand brain activities that support consciousness.
It can also help a person understand how it’s possible to maintain consciousness as you sleep.
The phenomenon of lucid dreaming.
Lucid dreaming is a phenomenal activity that occurs when REM sleep is over. It’s a phase whereby you are aware of the kind of dreams you are having.
The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex when activated helps in achieving lucid dreaming. A lot of factors affect the achievement of lucid dreaming.
Such factors include age. Lucid dreaming can easily get achieved amongst kids and adolescents compared to adults.
According to various studies, in a sample size population at least 51% of the people, have experienced lucid dreaming at a certain point in their lives.
Another 20% have experienced lucid dreaming once every month. The same study discovered that lucid dreaming is affected by several factors.
A person who is more open to experience and discover new adventures has a high likeness of experiencing lucid dreaming. The study noted that mood, levels of anxiety, and depression have a hand in lucid dreaming.
The research revealed that high neuroticism, a personality attribute that often affects anxiety, moods, and depression, has a great influence when one wants to achieve lucid dreaming.
How does lucid dreaming affect the brain?
There exist several ways of achieving self-induced lucid dreams. These methods have gained popularity amongst many individuals, and it has sparked a debate amongst researchers and scientists.
Is lucid dreaming harmful or beneficial? It’s a debate that is still under discussion and review amongst various researchers.
A portion of researchers is of the idea that self-induced lucid dreams create a blur between what is dreaming and what is reality.
They believe it negatively affects your mental health at the end of the day. Lucid dreaming and high brain activity levels go hand in hand.
If you are self-inducing lucid dreaming, then it’s given that your sleep schedule is affected. High brain activity significantly reduces the quality of your sleep.
Experiencing lucid dream on a frequent basis largely affects your sleep-wake cycle. In turn, when this cycle gets affected, your emotional response, memory management, and other parts of your life get affected too.
Lucid dreaming techniques such as Wake Back To Bed (WBTB) and Mnemonic induction of lucid dreams (MILD) lead to sleep problems.
If you are a person who has irregular sleep patterns, interrupting your sleep is the last thing you need.
These two techniques involve interrupting your sleep schedule, and this can lead to sleep issues that will eventually affect your brain performances.
Also, these techniques can increase depression levels. The brain needs a rest, and when it’s denied this, your brain will suffer.
The significance of studying lucid dreaming.
Regardless of the doubts and questions that surround lucid dreaming, studying this phenomenon is a paramount step that can’t be overestimated. These doubts are fueled by the negative implications of lucid dreams.
However, there are two sides to a coin. Lucid dreaming has its own fair share of advantages, and this calls for more research into lucid dreaming.
Some researchers believe that this phenomenon can be used to treat recurring nightmares. Recurring nightmares have an effect on an individual’s self-esteem and self-confidence.
A practice called, Lucid Dreaming Therapy is useful when an individual wants to contain nightmares. Anecdotal evidence has it that lucid dreaming can also be used to reduce the levels of anxiety.
It revealed that individuals are able to control their anxiety levels when they lucid dreams. In as much as there are negative implications of this practice, the positive effects can’t be overlooked.
A lot of research needs to go into lucid dreaming to determine more impacts of this phenomenon on the life of an individual person.
Dreams stimulate one’s past experiences and future wishes. Dreams are also associated with fears, aspects that trigger anxiety, and nightmares. Lucid dreaming gives a person to control their dream.
They are able to determine the course their dreams will take depending on the action they take when dreaming.
The full effects of lucid dreaming on the neural networks of the brain are yet to be fully comprehended. It’s a field that screams fertility as far as deep research and studies are concerned.
A lot of efforts need to go to this field to understand how a brain can retain consciousness as one is asleep, and how a person can control the turn out of their dreams. Researchers also need to establish the long-term impact of lucid dreaming.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article !