Lucid Dreaming: A State In Between Dreaming And Waking
Updated: May 20
Some researchers suggest that lucid dreaming is not a state of sleep, but of brief wakefulness or micro-awakening. A lucid dream is a dream during which the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming. It has been studied and reported for many years. Prominent figures from ancient to modern times have been fascinated by lucid dreams and have sought ways to better understand their causes and purpose. But it could become more difficult over time to wake up from a lucid dream. Someone struggling with certain mental illnesses could find it hard to be able to tell the difference between reality and the actual dream.
Some people experience something like Sleep Paralysis, it is in a state in between dreaming and waking, where you can't move, where you're aware that you are awake, and yet still may be experiencing hallucinations from your dream. Sleep paralysis is uncommon, affecting anywhere between seven and 40 percent of people. There is also a possibility of “sleep claustrophobia” which is when a person is lucid in a dream scenario that they are unable to wake from or manipulate. There is a risk in using lucid dreaming as a form of escapisms, that it will force individuals out of touch with reality.
Paul Tholey laid the epistemological basis for the research of lucid dreams, proposing seven different conditions of clarity that a dream must fulfil in order to be defined as a lucid dream that the awareness of the dream state (orientation), capacity to make decisions, memory functions, self awareness, dream environment, meaning of the dream, concentration and focus (the subjective clarity of that state).
Many different theories have emerged as a result of scientific research on the subject and have even been shown in pop culture. Further developments in psychological research have pointed to ways in which this form of dreaming may be utilized as a form of sleep therapy. But those who have never had a lucid dream may not understand what is happening when they experience it for the first time. Individuals who experience lucid dreams could begin to feel isolated from others due to feeling different.
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