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Lucid Dreams: When You're the Narrator

Lucid Dreams

Lucid Dreams: When You're the Narrator

The road was empty, in the hands of a child I don't know who she is, but they are chasing after me, wanting to snatch her from my arms to inflict harm on her. I stood and looked at her face, and there was an angel, looking at me innocently and wanting to sleep, my heart raced, and all of a sudden, someone snatched her from me and ran away. I stood dumbfounded in shock, many questions stirred my mind; Who is this girl? And who are these? where am I? Wait a minute, it's a dream.

After that, I thought I should just save her; since it was a dream, I'm well aware of this. So I can control it. The same scene is repeated, the road is clear and I am running with the child, but I did not stop, and I could really save her. I was amazed at the supernatural ability that enabled me to control time and even the whole dream. This situation has been repeated with me and it still happens from time to time. I don't mean the dream itself, but my ability to control my dreams. I didn't know there was such a thing as a lucid dream.

But what is a lucid dream?

It is a dream in which the owner realizes that he is dreaming and the events that happen around him are unrealistic, but he can control it and change the course of its events, just as I did in my dream when I went back in time a little and made the decision to save the girl by not stopping. This distinguishes a lucid dream, sometimes called a pure dream, in which a person is in a state between the worlds of reality and dreams. The term lucid dreaming was first coined by the Dutch psychiatrist Frederick van Eden.

Lucid dreaming has several advantages:

  • Realizing that this is just a dream.
  • Make decisions freely and with awareness of that.
  • Perception with all the senses.
  • Remember all the experiences of lucid dreams.

When does it happen exactly?

According to the Medicine website, humans go through two important stages during sleep: non-rapid eye movement sleep and rapid eye movement sleep. The latter begins after 90 minutes of sleep, as the eyes move in different directions quickly, hence the name "rapid eye movement sleep." These are characterized by increased brain activity, so most dreams occur during them, which supports the idea that lucid dreaming occurs during this particular stage when the brain is at the peak of its activity.

See also: Requiem of a dream

A review led by Julian Motz and published in Neuroscience of Consciousness in 2017 indicated that lucid dreams occur during the REM stage, while recent studies have indicated that they may also occur during the NREM stage. It may occur during both phases of sleep.

The point

The same review indicates that lucid dreaming occurs to varying degrees, from feeling a minimum of awareness to the stage of strongly controlling the dream narrative as the sleeping person wishes, once he realizes that he is in a dream and can control it, and this realization often occurs when the sleeper becomes aware that there is something Inaccurate happening around him. Just like when I asked, "Who is this girl? Who are they? Where am I?" I knew I was in a dream and then immediately began to recount the events again, my questions being this crucial point.

“When one is asleep, there is something in the consciousness that announces that what will happen next is but a dream.”

- Aristotle

In a study by Martin Dressler et al., published in Frontier in Psychology in 2014. Researchers found that the ability to self-determination was similar in lucid and daydreaming states while decreasing in lucid dreams. That is, the dreamer can decide what he will do, but he does not arrange for it, but rather implements it immediately.

This is what happened to me, I did not take time to arrange and plan the course of my dream, but I controlled time as soon as I realized that I was in a dream. This is what the study indicated, the ability to plan and arrange is weak in the case of lucid and lucid dreams, while the implementation of intention and resolution of the situation occurs during lucid dreams quickly. In this regard, the study suggests that the dreamer's ability to recover metacognitive abilities (i.e. thinking about what is happening around him with awareness and self-awareness) and memory functions during lucid dreaming helps him to carry out his intentions.

What are the changes in the brain?

There is what is called basic or sensory awareness, and it includes perception and emotion. There is secondary consciousness, which refers to specific traits such as self-awareness, will, abstract thinking, and metacognitive abilities. The latter is associated with lucid dreaming, as evidenced by the activity of specific areas of the brain during lucid dreaming.

Activity is observed in the following areas:

  • The dorsal prefrontal cortex (DLPFC).
  • The anterior part of the frontal lobe.
  • Vanguard area.
  • Inferior parietal lobule.
  • Supramarginal gyrus.

The activity of these areas helps restore the dreamer to metacognitive abilities that are characteristic of secondary consciousness associated with lucid dreaming, making lucid dreams an effective option for studying well secondary consciousness. This activity that occurs during lucid dreams is assessed during REM sleep by eye cues. In addition, under normal conditions, the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex area decreases during REM sleep. Here, the period of lucid dreams is distinguished from the indistinct, as the activity of this area increases during the dreamer's passage of a lucid dream.

To confirm this difference, a group of researchers at Stanford University conducted a study, comparing electroencephalography (EEG) between lucid and non-lucid dreams during REM sleep. The study was conducted on seven men and four women, ranging in age from 21 to 37, who had experiences with lucid dreams using electroencephalography for two consecutive nights. Visible by the activity of beta-1 waves, one of the brain waves used to measure electrical fluctuations that occur in the brain during lucid dreaming. The activity of these waves is between 13 and 19 Hz.

On the other hand, during lucid dreams, the activity of the parietal region increases, causing scientists to measure beta-1 activity between the prefrontal-to-parietal regions. The study concluded the following:

In the case of lucid dreams, the ratio of beta-1 activity in the frontal to the parietal region is between 1 and 1.16.

During lucid dreams, the ratio of beta-1 activity ranges between 1 and 1.77, and it was possible to increase this ratio, as activity was observed in the left parietal lobe, an area associated with self-awareness, which confirms the occurrence of lucid dreaming during this range. And often this is the range I was in during my dream.

In a 2015 study published in Neuroscience, by Elisa Velivich et al., a group of people with different visions of lucid dreams participated in the study. The study aimed to find out the effect of lucid dreams on their para-cognitive abilities in different ways, and their brain activity was photographed while they were performing a thought control test, during which participants evaluate the thoughts in their heads. These directed thoughts are divided into:

External: It is related to the current external environment, such as their performance on the test during this period.

Internal: It is not related to the external environment, but the participant's thinking begins with other things, such as a situation that happened yesterday or the date that he has to commit to tomorrow, and so on.

The study found that people who consistently saw lucid dreams had more gray matter activity (located in the brain that contributes to cognition, decision-making, memory, emotions, movement, etc.) than those who saw lucid dreams, but to a lower extent. Knowing that the strength of gray matter means that a person has high abilities.

What is special about lucid dreams?

People who are prone to lucid dreaming get several advantages, including eliminating anxiety and nightmares, dispelling phobias, enhancing creativity, and improving motor skills, as follows:

Reduce stress and anxiety

People with the ability to engage in lucid dreams can use it to their advantage in reducing stress, where there is a connection between consciousness and dreaming, telling the dreamer that he is in a dream. For example, if you have an important exam tomorrow with a known dread, you can imagine scenes supporting your position in your brain before you go to sleep, and in the dream, you will see yourself more in control of the situation, which will boost your confidence when you go for the exam the next day.

Treating nightmares and some mental illnesses

A nightmare is usually an unwanted visitor to people, especially after a traumatic accident. But people who enter lucid dreams have an amazing opportunity to get rid of these nightmares and dispel them, as the dreamer can control the course of the dream, and with the help of healers, the sleeper can control the course of the nightmare and get rid of the dark side in it and treat it so that it is more positive. This will help a lot in getting rid of post-traumatic shocks.

Face fears

Often, one cannot face fears of all kinds. Therapists use cognitive behavioral therapy in lucid dreams, to enable the person to see his fears, confront them and overcome them, thus reducing the fear within him towards something and becoming more able to confront them in reality.

Boost creativity

People can use lucid dreams to enhance their dreams by controlling their imagination and directing the dream toward all possible possibilities to solve a problem, for example, which helps to expand the scope of vision, think outside the box, and come up with creative solutions.

Develop motor skills

Lucid dreams are controllable, which means that they are controlled by consciousness. For example, if a person has a disability that prevents them from moving parts of their body, they can move them during lucid dreaming, and one study indicates that this method actually improves motor skills if the person can direct their body through their mind to move.

Finally. It really turns out that humans can control their dreams and even narrate them for their benefit as they wish, to travel through dreams and take adventures that they may not be able to do in reality, all due to the connection of awareness to dreams, which made me aware that I was in a dream and I saved the girl in one of my dreams, The same ability helped me face a fierce lion, fight monsters, and many other situations that I can hardly count. However, lucid dream control is a feature that is worth trying out and putting to good use to enhance our various abilities and skills. But do not confuse dreams with reality, as you do not see a lion attacking you in reality, and from the shock of the shock, you think that you are in a dream and confront it.

Read also : Dreams of snakes