Lucid dreaming is basically dreaming while being aware that you are dreaming. If you are in a lucid dream, you will usually have some power over your dream ? anything from being able to fly or making an object or room appear behind a door or inside a pocket, right up to being able to change into animals and create a whole world! It is like being a director of your own movie.
There are plenty of reasons you might want to lucidly dream: 1. Simply for fun! Just flying in a lucid dream is an exhilarating feeling. Lucid dreams are generally far more intense and vivid than most non-lucid dreams. You can use a lucid dream to wind down after a long day. 2. Transforming into animals or getting superpowers is a unique experience that is hard to get any other way. 3. If you are particularly interested in dreams ? either spiritually or psychologically ? trying lucid dreaming could help you in your research.
Lucid dreaming – Rem and Non-Rem
The stages of sleep Each night, we spend about one and a half to two hours dreaming. We dream about once every 90 minutes of sleep. The time you spend in dreams becomes longer throughout the night, from about 10 minutes to around 45 minutes or slightly longer. But what happens when we sleep? There are five stages of sleep: four stages of NREM (Non-REM) sleep, also called SWS (Slow-Wave Sleep), and one stage of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.
The most vivid dreams, and therefore the ones we remember the most, occur during REM sleep (though we dream in other stages too). One sleep cycle is roughly 90 minutes long. (NREM) The first stage is a transition state between wakefulness and sleep. This is the stage that hypnagogic imagery occurs in. It usually passes into stage 2 within a few minutes. (NREM) During stage 2, the body gradually shuts down, and brain waves become longer in wavelength.
(NREM) Stage 3 usually occurs 30 to 45 minutes after falling asleep the first time. Large, slow delta brain waves are generated. (NREM) Stage 4 is often called “deep sleep” or “delta sleep”. The heart beats the slowest and there is the least brain activity. It is during this stage that sleepwalking usually occurs.
After stage 4, the NREM stages reverse and move back to stage 2, and then into REM sleep. (REM) During REM sleep, some parts of the brain are nearly as active as while awake. In this stage, your eyes flicker rapidly (hence the acronym Rapid Eye Movement). Your body is paralyzed, probably to prevent you from acting out your dreams.
After the REM state, you sometimes wake briefly. This is usually forgotten by the time you wake up in the morning. If you don’t wake up, you go to stage 2.