Lucid dreaming is dreaming while being conscious of the fact that you are dreaming, this is something that occurs rarely naturally so most people who experience lucid dreams have developed the habit of doing so over time. Why would anyone want to lucid dream? Well think about it for a second, when you dream, you usually have no awareness of the fact that you're actually dreaming, it's all a haze of memories and thoughts and since you're thinking on a sub-conscious level you actually believe that you're not dreaming so anything you dream about you react to as if you were awake. I'm pretty sure you thought or had that before, when dreaming everything seems normal, it's only until we wake up that we realize that we were dreaming.
Have you ever thought of doing something but were too ashamed or embarrassed to do it? Like asking out that hot person on a date, being the life of the party or even talking shit straight to your boss? Some people start practicing lucid dreaming for this very purpose, simulating awkward social situations with the calm of mind, knowing that you're in control can help you overcome practically anything. Lucid dreaming can also be used for stopping nightmares and generally doing whatever you want in them(yes anything). It is, however, not exactly the easiest thing to master and control. Once your brain realizes you're awake while in REM state(dream state), it kicks you out of it back into the normal conscious state. Now obviously there are ways around this, such as keeping calm once you realized you're dreaming. Here's a method for you to try:
- Go to sleep as normal and set your alarm for 4-5 hours roughly after you fall asleep.
- When you wake up you will be drowsy and tired. Get out of bed and/or go to the bathroom or just stay awake for 1-2 minutes, this may be tough but bear with it.
- Lay back down in a comfortable position with your eyes closed. Try to stay awake and as still as possible.
- Your brain will send signals to your body to see if you're awake, these include itching, changing your body position, wanting to blink or move your eyeballs. You must ignore all these impulses and keep your eyes shut.
- After about 20-30 minutes you will feel a weight on your chest, you will begin to hallucinate with your eyes closed, you will see and hear weird colours and/or sounds.
- When these disappear, it means that you're dreaming. Open your eyes and you will be in an REM state but be unable to move your body. Close your eyes and you will dream instantly whilst being fully aware of your conscious state.
- When lucid dreaming, you can do anything, absolutely anything while being fully conscious of it. The affect is similar to that of LSD except here you get to control what you want to see, smell, taste, hear, talk to, etc.
Whilst dreaming there are several things you could do to make you're dreaming and stay dreaming for as long as possible whist being conscious. Do several 'tests' in the dream that couldn't possibly happen in reality, such as flipping a coin and commanding it to stay in the air, if it does, well you know the answer. To stay conscious in dreamland for as long as possible without your brain realizing you're actually awake and kicking you out, there are many methods, one of the most common is to spin in a circle. This draws all the attention away from waking up and keeps you in the REM state for a longer period of time.
I wouldn't recommend practicing lucid dreaming if you know you need proper sleep for the following day so it's best practiced when you know you can get a nap or such the next day to replenish energy levels.