“Lucid dreaming is the state of being in a dream during the REM sleep cycle and being aware that it’s a dream.”
Often dream experts will claim that lucid dreamers naturally control their dreams but that is not always the case. With practice and intentional effort to lucid dream, a person can control outcomes and even create characters and experiences they would not have in real life. Some say it’s a way to bridge the gap between the subconscious and conscious minds.
According to sleep and dream researchers, the best way to begin to lucid dream is to tell yourself to do it before going to bed. There is what is called an “incubation” period of thought right before falling asleep where the brain is suggestible.
Making an image and looking at it or reciting a phrase to declare…
“I want to lucid dream tonight,” is a good way to incubate the suggestion that you want to lucid dream.
In lucid dreaming the awareness of the dream can come on suddenly but more often begins as a hint that something in the picture is not quite right. At that point of recognition, the dreamer may realize he is in a dream. That point of knowledge that you are in a dream is the lucid dream experience.
To become better or adept at lucid dreaming, it’s recommended you practice lucid dreaming techniques like being present by noticing your environment in the waking hours. This then becomes something instinctive and habitual and you will find yourself doing it when dreaming. This will help you discern anything out of the ordinary in the dream environment that will trigger the awareness that you are not awake; for example: a slightly different pattern on your wall paper.
At that point you can also attempt to manipulate the dream, the same way you’d change things in waking life: touching them, moving them, and then in some ways you can’t such as summoning a character or putting your hands through objects or creating them or even pretending to fly. Some regular lucid dreamers have tried all manner of unusual experiences and claim the experience feels as real as it does to be awake, with the caveat that the experience couldn’t be achieved in real life.
Lucid dreaming is also a potentially good way to overcome anxiety, esteem issues, even bad habits or fears. In lucid dreams you can accomplish or experience things that can’t be performed in regular life. This can leave behind a feeling of success or courage. For regular lucid dreamers, it often leaves a feeling of higher awareness simply because things in the subconscious are experienced differently and can give the feeling of an expanded mind.