Is Lucid Dreaming Real?

Is lucid dreaming real?” is a common and expected question that people ask, often meaning is it actually possible and can I actually achieve it.  The idea of having control of your dreams may sound at the same time simple and far-fetched.  This is particularly true for those who have never had a spontaneous experience of lucidity.  Once a person gets good at this and starts to have more frequent episodes of lucidity, however, she or he may look forward to answering the question “Is lucid dreaming real?” with a strong “Yes!”

Is Lucid Dreaming Real: Overview

Now “Is Lucid Dreaming Real?” may also sound like a strange question to some, especially if you are coming to this website after having some success with lucidity or having frequent spontaneous experiences of lucidity.  Yet for some “is lucid dreaming real” is a question that is actually commonly asked, and if you are going to talk to people about your love of lucid dreams you might expect it.  Why do people ask?  There are three main reasons.

“Is Lucid Dreaming Real?  It sounds too good to be true.”

It just sounds too good to be true to those who have never had a spontaneous lucid dream or who have not tried even basic techniques.  Perhaps they really mean “can this possibly be so cool” rather than “is lucid dreaming real”, but the meaning is the same.  And those asking the question may be quite happy with the answer.  Instead of responding to your descriptions of lucid dream experiences, they may instead have heard others tell their stories and now when you bring up the topic they ask this question almost as a throw away.

“Is Lucid Dreaming Real?  Some related pursuits are not.”

Lucid dreaming is often confused with practices that actually are not real – or at least have not been proven or had so many people experience success – such as astral projection or joining together in a dream.  When people who ask the question “is lucid dreaming real” but are confusing it with something else, they may actually be relieved that it is possible.  This is where it is important to stay realistic about what the limits are of this wonderful experience – there is enough to do with regular lucid dreaming.

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“Is Lucid Dreaming Real?  I was not able to do it.”

Those people who have tried it and not succeeded, and especially those who are relying on the internet – websites and forums – to get information and advice may come to doubt that the people claiming it is possible are being truthful.  Thus they ask the question “is lucid dreaming real” out of skepticism born from frustration.  For these people the answer should be given with some sympathy for their frustration, and a sense of hope that they will achieve success.  They may not really be asking “is lucid dreaming real?”, but rather “can this experience be a reality for me?

We hope that websites like this one, forums that allow people to tell their lucid dreaming stories, and studies of lucidity that point out the science might convince the skeptics.  But no matter what there will always be some people asking the question out of skepticism.

Is Lucid Dreaming Real: Perceptions

There may be another reason why people ask “is lucid dreaming real?” and in these cases they are asking what the experience feels like.  In other words, their intention in asking the question is to wonder about whether the experience feels real.  And again, we suggest that the answer is yes.  Now of course experienced lucid dreamers will tell you that some experiences of lucidity can be fleeting or can come and go within a dream, so sometimes the more precise answer to the question might be “yes, the experience does feel real but maybe not for the whole dream.”  Yet the hallmark of lucid dreaming is that feeling of reality in the dream – not the kind of reality that suggests things should happen similar to how they happen when you are awake – of course not because that’s what makes lucid dreams so much fun – but rather that it feels like we are awake and aware and that the surrounding feel like they actually exist.

All of the above said, there are some times where the answer to the question “is lucid dreaming real?” is no, and that happens when there are different meanings behind the question.  For example:

  1. The person who is asking “is lucid dreaming real” in the context of thinking that they can meet up with others who are also dreaming, or influence actual events in the real world should receive some clarification
  2. The person who is asking the question because they hope that some of the wonderful things they can do while dreaming can magically become possible in their real lives also needs to understand the limitations of lucidity
  3. And finally, the person who is asking in the hope of being able to fully control their surroundings and the characters and scenery that pops up may also find that the answer is “no”
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One way or another, too many people are asking the question “is lucid dreaming real?“.  We do not mean that to say we blame them – each of the above possibilities is compelling and convincing.  But we do hope that the question is fleeting and that if you are someone who is finding your self asking it that you will stay with your lucid dreaming techniques and answer the question yourself, affirmatively!  If you are someone who has had some success with lucidity make sure you tell people to start with some simple techniques, and to go online and read any number of stories posted on forums and websites.  Give them advice and tips, and make sure they are doing something to remember all their dreams so they don’t miss any episodes of lucidity.

World of Lucid Dreaming has an excellent page about the reality of lucid dreams and Psychology Today also explores the question is “conscious dreaming” real.

We also cover related questions such as “Is lucid dreaming dangerous?” and “What does lucid dreaming feel like?

Whether you are asking this question yourself, or you are running into others who are asking after you tell them your stories, you can use this website and others, and hopefully your own experience, to ensure that the answer to the question “is lucid dreaming real?” is yes.

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