What if you found out that you can consciously control your dreams - that you can draw upon your memories and life experiences and shape a dream as you see fit? You’d probably tell us that we’ve watched Inception too many times.

While the stellar Christopher Nolan flick relies heavily on the phenomenon of lucid dreaming to drive several plot points, it is a real, albeit controversial thing.

Lucid dreaming implies that the dreamer is aware that he is dreaming, and is able to control and determine the direction of his dream. This exercise of free will while dreaming may occur once in a lifetime under ordinary circumstances, but for a few, it may be a regular phenomenon.

Why is lucid dreaming important?

Consider this. We spend almost a quarter of our lives sleeping. What if we were able to maximize those hours by using them to know ourselves better? By improving the quality of our sleep and ensuring that our day starts well?

That is exactly what lucid dreaming would allow us to do.

Research now shows us that lucid dreaming may be within everyone’s reach as a learnable skill. Not sure if lucid dreaming is your cup of tea? Think about all the times you’ve woken up with your heart racing and drops of perspiration on your brow as you tell yourself that it was just a dream. Lucid Dreaming is one of the experimental therapies used to treat chronic nightmares. Waking up from a delightful dream with the feeling of being in control is a positive start to any day.

Lucid Dreaming may also be used to tap portions of your subconscious, helping you deal with memories of potentially traumatizing life events. It is common knowledge that human consciousness is a tiny portion of the capacity and potential of the human mind. Lucid dreaming, when ordinary mental barriers are lowered, may allow us to explore much of the unknown.

Although interest in lucid dreaming has grown in recent years, it is hardly a new phenomenon. There have been historical references to lucid dreaming over the centuries, but the term ‘Lucid Dreaming’ was popularized in the early twentieth century by Frederick Van Eeden.

Interested in giving it a shot? While the internet has loads of resources that teach you how to lucid dream, two of the most recurring points are, a) Maintaining a dream journal which you must write in as soon as you wake up to ensure maximum recollection of dreams, and b) Getting into the habit of doing reality checks during the day-that is, actively questioning yourself about whether you are dreaming or awake, and giving yourself easy physical tests like holding your breath, counting your fingers, etc. to check. Consensus is that your mind and body will implement these habits while you are asleep and with practice, you will become aware of your dreaming state.

We recommend giving it a shot. You may just be surprised by what your subconscious throws at you.

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