Picture Credit- Andrea Piacquadio on freepik

Sweet Sleep

In a fast-paced busy life, relaxation is a luxury. Sleep is vital. It is how we living beings recharge our batteries. Bears hibernate while tortoises aestivate to conserve their energies during unfavorable seasons. Sleep is more like a survival mechanism for them. As far as Human beings are concerned they cannot stay away for more than 10-11 days. Sleep deprivation is dangerous and causes the weakening of the immune system, hypertension, and even heart attack and strokes.

The melatonin hormone also known as ‘the hormone of darkness ‘ is released to regulate sleep. Lack of melatonin can lead to insomnia.

Debunk the myth that sleep is a passive state of the body. When we are asleep, our body rejuvenates by repairing and producing cells. Our brain enters into an active state.

Have you heard about Lucid Dreams?

“It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay awake when I’m asleep; because everything is never as it seems.”---- Fireflies (a song by Owl City)

You might have heard people describe their dreams as vivid but not lucid. The word ‘lucid’ means clear. Dreams are anything but clear because we don’t control our dreams.

However, if someone realizes while dreaming that he is dreaming, then he gathers some control over his dream. Such a dream is known as a ‘lucid dream’. It is a dream in which you are aware of the fact that whatever you’re seeing is not the reality but the product of your imagination.

Picture credit-Bruce Christianson on Unsplash

In a lucid dream, you can jump from a cliff and not fall, go through the fire and not burn, dive into the ocean and not drown and my personal favorite is experiencing flying.

You can meet characters and people that you like. You can use your creative abilities to shape your dreams. Although, you may never get absolute control over dreams, yet, lucid dreaming can be fun.

There are various stages to our sleep, lucid dreaming is typical of the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage which occurs 90 minutes after we have fallen asleep.

Studies on Lucid Dreams

Aristotle was the first to talk about Lucid Dreams in his book ‘On Dreams’. Hindu Yogis and Tibetan Buddhist monks too have emphasized practicing awareness in sleep.

A physician called Galen of Pergamon used lucid dreaming as a therapy. St.Augustine in a story describes Doctor Gennadius who was likely to be lucid dreaming a lot.

Over the passing centuries, it was a Dutch psychiatrist named Frederik van Eeden coined the term ‘lucid dream’ in 1913 in his article titled ‘A Study of Dreams.

Modern researches say that 55% of people experience lucid dreaming at least once in their lifetime and 23% of people have lucid dreams at least once a month.

How to see Lucid Dreams?

Lucid dreaming is a skill that is developed only through practice. Although, lucid dreaming is still under research, yet neuroscientists have a few tips and tricks to help you out on your journey to lucid dreaming.

  • Frequent Reality Checks - Make it a habit to ask yourself if you’re awake or dreaming. You can do this by
    • pinching yourself
    • Watching the clock in a dream you’d always see the wrong time.
    • Counting fingers. In dreams, you may find fewer or extra fingers.
    • Read a book. The texts may be distorted in the dream.
    • If you wear a band or bracelet on your wrist. You can check that again and again. It may disappear in a dream.
  • Keeping a Dream Journal - Most people forget what they saw in their dreams. But, if you can describe your dreams and remember them well, your chances of lucid dreams may increase. Keep a journal for penning down your dreams. Observing your creative patterns in dreams will help you become more aware of dreams. For example, if you dream of exams a lot then next time when you see an exam you can ask yourself if you’re dreaming.
  • Affirmation - When you prepare yourself to go to sleep, make sure you relax by taking deep breaths and repeatedly saying, “Today I will be consciously aware of my dream.
  • Wake up and then Sleep Again - You can set up an alarm before you go to sleep. Set the alarm in such a way that it wakes you up in the middle of your sleep. Well, if you wake up at 7 am, you may set your alarm for 4 am.
    As soon as you wake up from sleep, try to recall what you’ve been dreaming and quickly go back to sleep. This as small window between the real world and the dream world can help in your lucid dreaming.
  • Binaural Beats - In our brains, the neuron signals travel at low-frequency waves. Based on their frequency ranges, they are termed alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and theta waves. Binaural beats are an auditory illusion created by the brain when you listen to two different sounds of low frequencies. Listening to binaural beats could induce lucid dreaming.

Pros and Cons of Lucid Dreaming

Nothing in this world comes without pros and cons. Therefore, here are the pros and cons list for ‘Lucid Dreams


  • Lowers Anxiety
  • It is Fun
  • You can explore your creative dream world and generate better awareness about yourself.
  • It can heal you emotionally. Most PTSD patients suffer from nightmares, lucid dreaming can help them cope with it.


  • It can cause sleep paralysis. It is a temporary phenomenon that you might have experienced in your adolescence. It happens when you’re almost awake and aware, but you’re unable to move your limbs because your body still thinks it's sleeping. You may even hallucinate and that may cause fear.
  • It may disrupt your sleep. You might even wake up in the middle of the dream because you know that you’re dreaming.
  • You may not feel rested and relaxed as in the lucid dream you put too much focus and energy into designing your dream.
  • Schizophrenic people or if they have certain ill mental conditions should avoid lucid dreaming as they may get nightmares instead of benefits.

Note:- Lucid Dreams doesn’t last throughout the night.

A person would rarely experience more than one or two lucid dreams per month.

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