I would like to start by defining what Lucid dreaming is: as Andrea Rock describes in her book The Mind at Night, “Lucid dreaming is a state in which a dreamer becomes aware that he or she is dreaming while the dream is still in progress.”
Lucid dreaming happens when we can be aware, and perhaps control, what happens in our dream…it is as if we can see ourselves from outside in a world which is our own dream. We can be aware of our dream as being a dream while we can feel and experience what is happening within the dream. Plus we get the benefit of being aware that we are in a safe place since it is a dream, and we can actually do things that otherwise would be dangerous or impossible…
Very few people really experience lucid dreaming, but we can actually work on becoming lucid dreamers, some of us can actually achieve to become lucid dreamers and in doing so we can have a whole new world of experiences to explore while in the safe environment of our own bed.
Rock also points out that “some lucid dreamers also can consciously manipulate the setting, characters and action taking place in their internal dramas.” This is the best thing that could happen to us when we are having a nightmare, and if that nightmare is recurrent, it is possible to consciously change it to have a nicer and less frightening outcome. It is actually a strategy that is taught to children who do not sleep well at night because they have nightmares, when they can change the terrifying part of their dream into a nicer part, then they can achieve to get a good night’s sleep at night, every night.
While most of us are unaware that we are dreaming while the dream is in progress, something unusual that happens in our dream can trigger our awareness within our dream. The triggers that work are different for each person and each individual dream. Turning on our self-awareness during dreaming is a skill that can be learned with practice.