Can you control your dreams? You might be lucid dreaming
In the world of dreams, lucid dreaming is truly fascinating. It’s when you realise you’re in a dream and can, in a way, steer it. Some people describe it as feeling like being in a video game, where they have complete control over the environment and the characters. Others describe it as feeling like being in a hyper-realistic version of reality, where everything is more vivid and intense.
According to Dr Pankaj B Borade, psychiatrist at Ruby Hall Clinic, you can get better at it with practice, but it usually happens naturally. “It feels a lot like real life, making you feel excited and in charge of your dream adventures.”
Lucid dreams are relatively common with at least 50-55 percent of people having experienced it at least once in their lifetime, explained Dr Parth Nagda, psychiatry consultant at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital. “But they can be difficult to induce and maintain.”
Why do it?
Well, you can be super creative, face and overcome your fears and phobias, or just have awesome dream adventures, said Dr Borade. And don’t worry, it’s not risky, just keep your sleep in check for a healthy balance.
According to Dr Nagda, lucid dreaming has been shown to help those with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to overcome it. He added that it can increase one’s problem-solving skills, and enhance self-awareness and personal growth, learning and memory.
How can you do it?
Lucid dreaming is a skill that takes time and practice to develop, according to Dr Nagda. He shared some steps to get started:
Dream journal. As soon as you wake up, record your dreams in detail as it helps improve dream recall, which is essential
Before sleeping, affirm your intention to become lucid in your dreams. Visualisation and repeating a mantra like, “I will have a lucid dream tonight”, enhances chances of the same
Lucid dreams often occur during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep and setting an alarm to wake you up during the middle of the REM cycle can help.