When a person takes up to study dreams they open a whole realm of interesting information. It can include anything from dream interpretation, to how dreams occur, to how various phases of sleep lead to dreams, and even to dreams that almost seem real.
When people study dreams one of the areas of focus is lucid dreaming. In a lucid dream a person is aware that they’re dreaming. It’s also called a conscious stream because the conscious mind is active. A lucid dreamer can change the dream. This might involve changing imagery or the entire dream environment. Lucid dreams can seem almost real, depending on how self-aware the person is during the dream.
One type of lucid dream that has been categorized when people study dreams is the dream initiated lucid dream. This type of lucid dream begins as a regular dream. But at some point the person realizes they’re dreaming.
The other type of lucid dream is the wake initiated lucid dream. Those who study dreams say this type happens when a person falls asleep and enters directly into the dream. There is no lapse of consciousness. In other words the conscious mind is active when the person is awake, and remains conscious when the dream begins.
A woman by the name of Celia Green did study dreams. In 1968 she performed a study called Lucid dreams. And she analyzed all the different aspects of these dreams. Her conclusion was that they were distinct from normal dreams, a category of their own. She believed that lucid dreams were associated with REM sleep. This is rapid eye movement sleep. It’s a sleep phase associated with the eyes moving up and down and side to side.
Like other people who study dreams, Celia was also interested in the false awakening. This is a phase of a dream when someone thinks they have woken up. However the dream continues. For example, one man reported a dream that he was a king in the Tower of Babel. An earthquake began. The tower crashed to the ground. He woke in a sweat. But then his apartment began to shake. The building fell to the ground. Then he really woke up. Celia believed that lucid dreams were connected to false awakening. Because the conscious mind is active in a lucid dream it moves the body to awaken and take action, often during a stressful period of the dream.
Another person who wanted to study dreams was Norman Malcolm. He wrote a book called Dreaming in 1959. He connected the fact that eye movements within dreams cause the physical eye to move with lucidity in dreams. His theory wasn’t proven until the 1970s in which a study involved a subject sending signals to the waking world from with in his dream. He did this by moving his eyes in predetermined patterns.