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Lucid dreaming- An unexplored vista


Dreaming is one of the most stimulating and interesting processes humans undergo in their life. This is a human process on which significant research has been done. However, there is a lesser researched process associated with dreaming, which is perhaps, even more interesting than the former. This is lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming refers to the process of being aware that one is dreaming while they are doing it. In some cases, the dreamer may even gain control over a part of the dream’s plot and scenery. To put it simply, if normally dreaming can be described as watching a movie, lucid dreaming is like playing an interactive video game. 

Stages of sleep 

Sleep can be categorized into stages, on the basis of Rapid Eye Movement (REM). There are four such stages of sleep. NREM stage 1, NREM stage 2, NREM stage 3, and REM sleep. NREM stage 1 is a transition period from wakefulness to sleep that lasts for five to ten minutes. NREM stage 2 lasts for around 2 minutes, in which the body begins to enter a calmer state. The deepest sleep occurs in NREM stage 3, where the muscles relax completely and blood pressure and breathing rates drop. Lastly, the body enters REM sleep, a stage where the brain becomes active and the eyes move rapidly. This is the time when dreams occur.

How to induce lucid dreaming

About 55 percent of people have experienced lucid dreams at least once in their lifetime. However, frequently experiencing lucid dreams is a rare phenomenon. A mere 23 percent of people experience lucid dreams once a month. Since it is such an interesting process but people rarely get to experience it frequently, there are ways which have been devised in order to induce such kinds of dreams.

This process of induction of lucid dreams can be divided into three main categories- cognitive techniques,  external stimulation during sleep, and intake of specific substances.

The category of cognitive techniques is further divided into three techniques- ‘Wake Back to Bed’, ‘Mnemonic Induction of lucid dreaming’, and ‘Wake initiated lucid dreaming’. The technique of wake back to bed entails sleeping for 5 hours and waking oneself up just before entering REM sleep. Then, it requires falling back to sleep after 20- 90 minutes of being awake.

The second technique- Mnemonic induction of Lucid dreaming (MILD) refers to telling yourself that you will lucid dream before going to sleep each day. Another task that eases this process is maintaining a dream journal.

The third technique- Wake initiated Lucid dreaming (WILD) involves laying down and engaging with one’s hypnagogia until they experience a hypnogogic hallucination. Next, they must visualize the scenario they want to find themselves in when they are dreaming.

For the second category of techniques- external stimulation involves the introduction of tactile and visual stimuli during sleep. Previous research has proven that external stimuli like vibrations and flashing lights introduced to a person in the REM stage may trigger lucidity.

In the third category, specific substances need to be consumed before sleeping in order to induce lucid dreaming. However, these substances may be harmful or addictive and therefore, should be avoided.

Effects of lucid dreaming on the body

Similar to any other concept, lucid dreaming has both- advantages and disadvantages. Lucid dreaming often naturally occurs in people who have some unresolved trauma from their past. Since it allows the dreamer to engage with the scenario, they may be able to resolve this trauma through their dreams. Thus, lucid dreaming leads to reduced anxiety. Further, it leads to lesser nightmares, enhanced motor skills, and lastly, increased creativity.

On the flip side, revisiting past trauma through lucid dreams may trigger anxiety and depression. Thus, it is advised to engage in this activity in a controlled manner. It may also lead to sleep problems such as sleep paralysis. Since the mind is actively engaging with a scenario in the lucid dream, in the state of wakefulness, there might be derealisation and dissociation.

Mental processes involved in lucid dreaming

In regular REM sleep dreaming, brain activity is reduced, since the mind is not actively engaging with the plot and scenery of the dream. However, during lucid dreaming, brain activity is most increased and concentrated in the cerebral cortex.  Lucid REM sleep activates this part of the brain, which would otherwise remain dormant during normal sleep. Since the cerebral cortex is the seat of consciousness, it’s activation implies higher voluntary control over the body and raised self-awareness. In addition to this, the frontal, parietal and occipital lobes are also activated.


Lucid dreaming is one of the most fascinating experiences that a person can undergo in their life.  However, there is still limited research regarding this topic. This is because it is difficult to study a process such as this at a larger scale. The sphere of lucid dreams remains filled with mystery. With rapid technological advancement, however, neurologists and psychologists have collaborated to find answers to the many questions we may have regarding this captivating world of dreams.

What do you think?

522 Points

Written by Diya Rao Jaini

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Meemansha Gaur

Very informative and interesting

Riya Rajkotiya

Interesting topic

Riya Rajkotiya

Well Written

Nidhi Dahiya

Amazing article!


Interesting . Thanks for sharing.

Rakshita Singh

The topic of lucid dreaming has always intrigued me, it is such a wonder of the mind. I can only imagine the excitement you must have felt while writing this article.
The write-up is very informative and captivating, I am definitely going to try the mentioned techniques.

Jigyasa vashistha

this is great content .. keep posting! 🙂


Very informative. Actually first time coming through such an article. On reading i felt i too had lucid dreams. My doubt here is can a person experience physical pain by revisiting the traumatic event while having a lucid dream. I think I somewhat went through a stage like this where i was aware that i was dreaming but was having some kind of pain in my body. If you can look up to that it will be good. Thank you. Keep going

Last edited 3 years ago by APARNA R S
Disha Dhage

Informative article

Disha Dhage


Disha Dhage

this is great content

Disha Dhage

keep posting!

Disha Dhage

well written

Disha Dhage


Disha Dhage


Disha Dhage

will share

Disha Dhage

keep up

Disha Dhage


Disha Dhage

amazing work done

Disha Dhage

Very interesting

Disha Dhage

Thank you for sharing

Disha Dhage

very informative

Jigyasa vashistha

lovely portrayal.. read it & feeling amazing:) keep writing!

Asmita Chakraborty

Very informative. Well written.
There are certain benefits of lucid dreams as well. As studies shows that people taking part in lucid dreams come up with novelty and insights, which can be with the help of characters.


Wow..Fascinating article..Very well explained. Great info… Keep writing

Well Written and much informative! It really is an unexplored area but as said its wonderful experience. Would love to read more about such research.

Iglat Joseph

Interesting topic , well written

Ishita Pandey

Lucid dreaming is generally very safe for those who are mentally stable, but it’s important to go over some of the potential risks associated with the practice. This can be frightening since you can’t move, you’re aware that you’re awake, but still may be experiencing hallucinations from your dream.


Hello Diya Rao ma’am it’s nice to see an extremely uneven topic to discuss..I appreciate your knowledge and dedication.
With due respect towards you and your work I want to add one suggestion for your article.
If you can explain that how people orthat particular individual can understand what is this “lucid dreaming” or it’s already disturb their mind and body then it will be much helpful.
As most of the people can’t understand what’s going on inside our mind so it’s so difficult to understand the situation that’s why it will be much easier to understand if you will explain some more points about what I mentioned.
Thank you.


Hi diya
It was an informative article, it would be better if you have highlighted the headings of techniques of enduring lucid dreaming , and writing them in points rather than in paragraph.

Ananya Mishra

Deeply elaborated, loved the mechanisms briefed


Could you please explain in a more detailed way about how it actually affects the person’s daily life activities? Thank you!

Neha Varur

Loved the content!
Could have been better if the difference between normal and lucid dreams was added. Like,what causes increases in brain activity during lucid dream? How it is concentrated in cerebral cortex unlike in normal dreams

Nikita Sarma

A very interesting topic to discuss.
However I feel like you could add the difference between or any similarities with sleep paralysis because it may sound very confusing. Otherwise, the content is great!

Gunjan Choughule

In my opinion, Lucid dreaming can help people who are suffering from anxiety, as dreams are basically what our subconscious mind thinks of. So, if anyone is having trouble coping with anxiety related issues, this might help. Correct me if I’m wrong.


wow… its really interesting…

Rahat Dogra

Wow we had studied this thing in 1st year and i must say the explanation was good


A very interesting topic.

The way you introduced with the difference between normal dreaming and lucid dreaming is so attractive.

This topic itself excited me to read it.

It is simpler to understand the whole article.

The stages of sleep explanation is to the point.

On the whole I came to know the overall view of the lucid dream eventhough it’s not serious, having lucid dream every day is not healthy.

It’s really a informative and good content. Keep going.


detailed and comprehensive. thanks for writing this!


very interesting, thank you for sharing this!

Akhil Nair

content with enough details for a mental health student or professional but non psychology ones will have to gain some prior knowledge too.

Fiona Gladstone

always wanted some insight on this :))

Jigyasa vashistha

this is insightful, thanks for writing:)

Jigyasa vashistha



I heard about Lucid dreaming fairly a long time ago. Many good informative points were given in the article. Keep up the good work!


This article has inspired me to write an article myself on a similar topic Thanks!

Dharani G Sekaran

very informative and interesting

P Abigail Sadhana Rao

This article was written eloquently and masterfully. Very informative and I learned alot. Thank you for sharing.

Jiniya Chakraborty

This was super interesting. I loved how detailed it was. I got to learn a lot. Thanks.

Shubhra Vyas

That’s a really interesting topic to explore, write about and very well written. However, a little more detailed explanation in simple layman terms will help the non-psychology background will help them understand better and relate. Just a suggestion 🙂