The dream is one of the most captivating human experiences. The dream carries on the paths of the subconscious, revealing symbolically the interesting aspects of our unconscious personality.
Neuroscientists still have a very vast territory that they can study, looking for answers to one of the most complicated questions in our existence: What is a dream?
A lucid dream is a special form of consciousness of which we are aware that we dream and continue our dream without waking up.
Although physiologically there are no significant changes to normal sleep, due to important changes in the consciousness field, we consider the lucid dream a different form of consciousness, different from dreaming sleep.
The first scientific studies on the possibility to remain lucid during the dream, to know that you dream while dreaming, were extensively presented by the Dutch doctor Frederick van Eeden in 1913, telling 14 years of personal experience in the lucid dream and analyzing 352 such dreams.
He also introduced the term “lucid dream” to mean “mental clarity” during a dream.
Van Eeden considers the dream a “state in which physical sensations, be they visceral, internal or peripheral cannot come to mind directly, but only in the form of symbols.”
Van Eeden reports that he became first aware during his dream, continuing his dream as a result of the next dream event: floating above a landscape of desolate trees, and the perspective of tree branches changes very naturally as it passed above them.
Then he reflected, thinking that his imagination could never have imagined such a beautiful perspective.
And suddenly, he realized he was dreaming that his body still sleeps in his bed, but his Ego has another body with which he can move in his dream … He subsequently experimented with various actions during his dream that did not interfere with the physical body, which was still sleeping and resting; Eeden’s wife remarking that absolutely nothing happened to him while crying or running in the dream, his body continuing to sleep very quietly.
Regarding the time at which lucid dreams come, he found that over 90% of these appear between 5 am and 8 am.
During the dream, lucidity usually occurs when the “dreamer” notices an event that is unlikely to occur during the dream, such as flight or death.
Sometimes lucidity occurs for no apparent reason, or in rare cases following direct return to REM sleep (in a dream) after a brief awakening.
Visceral “signs” that can tell the visitor that they are in a dream have been identified by Stephen LaBerge (from the Lucidity Institute, USA) following the analysis of 227 dreams.
There are similarities between the lucid dream and the extra-corporeal experiences but they are different phenomena.
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Here you have 17 curiosities about human dreams:
- When sleeping, we dream on average 20-25% of the time. For many, it means more than two hours of sleep per night.
- Forget 90% of our dreams. In the first 5 minutes of awakening, you forget half of your dream, and in the next few minutes, you usually forget about 90% of the dream content you’ve had.
- We only dream of what is known to us. It happens that our dreams are populated by unknown people. In fact, their faces we met them. They are the faces of real people that I forgot, but which I met during our lives. We see hundreds and hundreds of figures throughout our lives, so our minds use resources that we do not even know.
- Not all dreams are in colours. About 12% of people dream black and white.
- Dreams are a profoundly symbolic language and are the product of the subconscious mind. A symbol can invoke an idea, a feeling, and often has a profound meaning, much deeper than it can express a single word. At the same time, the symbolism of your dreams may leave you in a state of confusion, wondering “what does that dream mean to me”?
- Researchers have found that Americans are the ones who have the most aggressive dreams, compared to other nationalities.
- Surprisingly or not, the most common dreams people have sexual connotations. Very common are dreams in which we dream that we are at school, that we are in the fall or that we are being watched.
- Women and men have dreams that contain sexual connotations in the same proportion, according to a study by the University of Montreal. The author of the study noticed that the dreams in which we do sex are the most common, followed by words or phrases with sexual connotations, kisses, and other fantasies.
- Odours affect the dreams we have. In a study, the researchers showed that people who smelled shrunken roses had bad dreams, while people who smelled of fresh sausages had beautiful dreams. The researchers concluded that smells have an important effect on the emotions we live in a dream, more than other stimuli because the sense of smell is directly connected to certain parts of the brain that are associated with the dream function.
- We need to dream in order to strengthen our memory, to solve some internal conflicts and to regulate our general condition.
- Some drugs affect the central nervous system, causing nightmares. Among these, very harmful are antidepressants, narcotics, and barbiturates.
- Women have more nightmares than men, have shown more studies. It is still unclear why women remember their dreams more easily than men.
- If you dreamed that you die in a dream, it does not mean you will die in real life. Those type of dreams is very common.
- We can not control our dreams, but we can increase our ability to remember dreams more easily. We can even create a log of dreams we have had, dreams we will note as soon as we wake up. With the help of a good psychologist, they can be interpreted, but we too can discover interesting details about our subconscious.
- People in different cultures dream differently, although, for the most part, they are similar. The culture from which we come out traces some particularities that we live in our dreams.
- Pregnant women dream more and also tend to remember more their dreams. Researchers say this is due to the hormonal changes that break into their bodies at that time. Also, pregnant women sleep more, therefore they dream more.
- It is false to think that some people do not dream. Everybody dreams. People dream for at least two hours each night.