A lucid dream is a dream in which you realize that you are dreaming. Often by realizing that you are dreaming, you are given a sense of control that you do not have in your waking life. The dream world, after all, is not subject to the physical and social laws of the waking world. In your dreams you really can throw that fast ball, you can fly, you can have relationships with whomever you choose, etc. There are many people who want to know what happens in lucid dreams.
First, let’s talk about what is actually happening to your body while you are lucid dreaming. Lucid dreams usually happen near the end of a good night’s sleep, during the REM cycle. The REM or Rapid Eye Movement cycle has been proven as the time when the brain’s activity level is the closest it gets to the activity level it has while a person is awake. For some reason, the most vivid dreams occur during REM, right near the end of your night’s sleep. Scientists are not sure which causes the other—does your eye movement trigger something in your brain that causes it to dream or are the eye movements a reflex of a suddenly active brain? There are arguments to be made for both sides. After all, think of how much your eyes move while you are awake. Your eyes are never still!
So what happens in lucid dreams? Two courses of action are typical in people who have lucid dreams. For the people who “wake up” during the dream to realize that they are dreaming, the usual course of action is just to see how the dream plays itself out. Some people are interested in what has been going on and just want to see what else will go on. Other people realize that because they are dreaming, they have control over what happens and they, effectively, become the puppet master of their dream world.
Depending on which course of action you want to take, there are a couple of ways to influence what happens in lucid dreams. If you just want to see what happens, you can try some simpler lucid dream induction techniques, like deciding that you want to dream about something and remember it or just simply deciding that you want to have a lucid dream. If you want complete control over your lucid dream, then you will probably be better off with the WILD technique, a technique that lets you consciously enter the dream state while the rest of your body sleeps.
What happens in lucid dreams is really up to the person who is having the dreams in the first place. Some people like to play out different scenarios and some people are just interested in what their brain has decided to explore on the night they induce a lucid dream. You are the one who decides what happens in lucid dreams. They are your dreams, after all.