Lucid Dreams: Many Questions Remain

August 27, 2020

There is more to dreaming than meets the (shut) eye.

MENTAL HEALTH MINUTE

Lucid dreams are both voluntary and involuntary events. What this means is that a person is aware that they are dreaming during a lucid dream. It can occur spontaneously, typically during REM sleep stages. People experience lucid dreams only rarely, and they aren't typically distressing.

This type of dream has also been promoted as a means of self-reflection and problem solving. Proponents of the technique suggest that lucid dreams are a type of self-hypnosis, in which a person could potentially reach another state of awareness to achieve greater insight than during the full waking state. The safety of this technique hasn't been established, however, in terms of psychological well-being or restorative sleep. And the idea of using lucid dreaming as a problem-solving method is not supported by the medical community.

Dr Moawad is Adjunct Professor at John Carroll University, and Instructor, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. She is the editor in chief emeritus of Neurology Times (2017-2019).