Lucid Dreams are dreams in which the person realizes that he or she is dreaming. Often the person will realize that they can control the events and characters within the dream and that they can perform actions that they would never be able to perform during their waking hours. Much scientific research has been done in the field of lucid dreams and being able to willingly enter this dream state is considered by many to be a great skill. People have described lucid dreaming to be very vivid and to feel very real.
There are two different ways in which a dream can become lucid. The person can have a dream-initiated lucid dream or a wake-initiated lucid dream. The first is the name given to a dream that starts out as a normal dream but during which the dreamer realizes that they are dreaming. The second method involves going directly from be overtly conscious to dreaming without any lapses in the brain’s lucidity.
There are several noted scientists who have done research into the field of lucid dreams. Allan Hobson is one scientist who has done a lot of work in the neurophysiologic substance of dreams. He has brought the field of lucid dreaming into the factual and out of the speculative realm. Celia Green was the scientist who discovered that a lucid dream is wholly different from any other kind of dream (aka “normal” dream) and she was the scientist who first linked lucidity during dreams to false awakenings and the REM sleep cycle. Keith Hearne was the scientist who was actually able to prove that the brain waves during REM sleep were the most like the brain waves observed by an awake person. Stephen LaBerge, however is probably the field’s most noted researcher. LaBerge is the scientist who founded the Lucidity Institute and has published several books on ways a person can willingly enter a lucid dream.
Lucid dreams are experienced most often during childhood, though they are also experienced by adults. There is scientific evidence, however, that shows children being the better able to dream lucidly. As previously stated, many people view the ability to enter a lucid dream on purpose to be an activity of high skill. This skill, while it can be developed, is highly rare and it takes a lot of work to develop it.
Even though the scientific research done on lucid dreams has only taken place during the last fifty years or so, lucid dreaming has been reported all throughout history. The first written record or a lucid dream was recorded by St. Augustine in the fifth century AD. Lucid dreams have been linked to a high level of spirituality, and there are Tibetan Buddhists who practice a form of yoga which is supposed to induce lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is a field that is filled with much curiosity. Scientists and Spiritualists are equally intrigued by the phenomenon. Whether the lucid dream is simple science or a complicated spiritual experience has yet to be determined.