It’s always a little funny when people ask the question; ‘Is Lucid Dreaming real?’.
Perhaps because it’s been proven scientifically, and millions of people all around the world do it, and people have been lucid dreaming for hundreds if not thousands of years. It’s well known and yet there are still plenty of people who don’t think it’s possible. Maybe because of the modern films such as Inception, people have labeled it in their mind as ‘make believe’.
The fact is that it’s a very real skill and lots of people do it. Many are quick to decide lucid dreaming isn’t real because they can’t do it or have never done it, and they find it frustrating and difficult to even learn let alone practice. This doesn’t mean it’s not real however. It’s like people trying to play guitar, finding they can’t and then deciding that guitar playing ‘doesn’t exist’ as a skill, despite people all over the world being able to do it.
It’s quite bizarre how people’s minds work but nevertheless, we’re going to discuss this topic in this post, and hopefully put an end to the myth that Lucid Dreaming isn’t real.
So.. Is Lucid Dreaming real?
Of course it is.
But if you’re skeptical, then this won’t mean much to you, so we’ll instead take a more logical and scientific approach and try to explain from the ground up how this skill is possible and how you can in fact learn it yourself.
Most people don’t write their dreams down. They don’t think about the art of dream control and they don’t look up information on how to do it, or even try it themselves. For most people, dreams are just a ‘part of life’ that happens to them. They sometimes remember their dreams, but when they do it’s often random confusing events that they just ‘experience’.
This is true, because unless you START writing your dreams down, doing reality checks etc, then the skill WILL remain dormant in you. IT’s a skill that you must ‘use or lose’ and for most people, they just don’t practice it, so it doesn’t happen and they dismiss it as impossible. Let’s look at an example of a scientific study which proved it to be real.
By the way, for much more information on this, look at the Wiki article on Lucid Dreaming, (Why would there be one if it wasn’t real..) to learn more. This is a study conducted by a Dr ‘Keith Hearne’.
Keith is a british parapsychologist and he created an experiment in controlled lab settings whereby the participants would enter a ‘Lucid Dream’ as in a drama in which they’re aware they’re dreaming and move their eyes in a certain pattern which could be measured by the outside observers in the lab. Eye movements can be tracked while someone is asleep with the right equipment, and an agreed ‘pattern’ of eye movements, e.g ‘left, left, right, left, right, left’ was decided.
The group successfully made the eye movements in the correct sequence, during a dream. This study sort of remained fairly secret for a few years, as not many people really looked that much into it, but the research is there. In another study at the Neurological laboratory in Frankfurt (2009) revealed that people who are lucid dreaming showed increased activity in certain parts of their brains.
They showed (on brain scans/EEG machine) that this activity was connected to increased focus, awareness and ‘knowing they were dreaming’ type of behaviours. Of course, it’s very difficult to prove a Lucid Dream is happening, other than with the ‘eye movement’ experiment described above, because thoughts are subjective. You can’t ‘see’ what someone else is thinking yet.
Perhaps in the future we’ll be able to see what people are dreaming about as if we were watching a movie on a TV screen, but for now we have only the experiments outlined above and a few others to go on. As mentioned earlier, the Wiki article has more information about the research if you’re interested.
You just ‘know you’re dreaming’
If you asked a Lucid Dreamer, ‘Is Lucid Dreaming real?’ They would of course say yes.
So if you asked them to tell you how they KNOW they’re Lucid Dreaming, well that’s a little more complex. You see dreams are subjective, and as such can’ be explained very well to others. When you have a lucid experience, you know deep down that it’s real and that you’re aware of the dream.
It’s not something you can prove in the same way you can ‘prove’ you play guitar, (simply be playing it in front of the person). Consider what you’re feeling right now. As you read this text on your computer, phone etc.. how do you know you’re not dreaming? Look around and think about that..
You just do, don’t you? The normal laws of the universe are happening normally such as gravity, time, and even the feeling of the mouse as you scroll down this page. They’re all ‘senses’ and they combine together to give your mind an accurate knowledge of the fact that you’re in fact, awake. You’re in waking, real life right now. You just know you are, right?
Well, in the same way when you’re dreaming it’s like you have the same senses.. You can look around you, hear things, see things but when it all gets priced together in your mind, something doesn’t feel quite right. It’s just not the same.. it’s a different reality and your brain (with practice) can get very good at telling the difference.
To answer the original question; ‘Is lucid dreaming actually real?’ in a word.. Yes. Hopefully we’ve explained why and also explained why it can be difficult to prove, it seems the Matrix quote is appropriate here..
‘No one can be told what the Matrix is, you have to see it for yourself’.
Further Reading – What Does A Lucid Dream Actually Feel Like?