What is a Lucid Dream?

Have you had a dream that you could control like a video game? Lucid dreaming, when you become aware that you are inside a dream and can control your reality, is a skill you can develop. 💤🌀

Productive Dreams

Lucid dreaming is when you suddenly become aware of the fact that you're dreaming —allowing you to control aspects of your dream reality. Jared Chiang-Zeizel is a published author, award-winning writer, filmmaker, and avid lucid dreamer. He opted out of a typical high school life and spent the better part of his senior year in China. Upon his return to the States, Jared attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. While attending NYU, he won the David Chase Honorary Scholarship Award for Screenwriting. He graduated 2009 with a BFA in Film & Television Production. In that time, Jared interned at Sony Pictures and Rabbit Content.

Known as the brain's own virtual reality, Lucid dreaming is still an understudied subject but descriptions of it have been found in ancient Egypt and Hindu culture. A person will go to sleep for about five or six hours and then you wake up for about 20 minutes, and the idea is people waking up right before the REM stage of sleep, which is where dreams occur, and you stay awake for about those 20 to 30 minutes, trying to almost wake up the mind but keep the body at rest. When people go back to sleep, a person goes right into the REM stage, right into the dream world, where they still have some of that waking consciousness, “So that you can be like "Wait a second, this isn't my bedroom, it's you know a mountain in the middle of the country." Chiang-Zeizel articulates.

Lucidity techniques also include keeping a dream journal and performing “reality checks”. Could lucid dreams be harmful to your mental health? Studies show that intense lucid dreamers had, on average, lower levels of psychological distress. Like most skills, lucid dreaming takes practice, but according to Jared Chiang-Zeizel, it can be be used for guidance and self-growth.