Lucid dreaming (“lucid” from Latin lucidus: “light, bright, clear”) is the conscious perception of one’s state while dreaming, resulting in a much clearer experience, sometimes enabling direct control over the content of the dream. The complete experience from start to finish is called a lucid dream.
Stephen LaBerge, a popular author and experimenter on the subject, has defined it as “dreaming while knowing that you are dreaming.”
LaBerge and his associates have called people who purposely explore the possibilities of lucid dreaming oneironauts (literally from the Greek , meaning “dream sailors”).
The validity of lucid dreaming as a scientifically verified phenomenon is well-established. Researchers such as Allan Hobson with his neurophysiological approach to dreaming have helped to push the understanding of lucid dreaming into a less speculative realm.
Above from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucid_dreaming
Now we understand what a lucid dream is. Some of us have had these experiences all our lives, and some never have them. I began having lucid dreams at a very early age. In childhood, they were usually nightmares in which I was to blame for whatever was going on. I’m sure a psychologist could make something out of that, and maybe with reason, but it was a way of life for me. Often these were repeat dreams that I had for years. As I grew older, the nightmares faded somewhat, but the lucid dreams continued. At times, they would deal with things I was going through at the time, and at times they made no conscience sense. Lucid dreams generally happen to me at the end of my sleep cycle, although they have happened at other times.
When you have lucid dreams, you are aware you are dreaming. You can keep a story going or take it to a different place almost at will. It is one of the oddest feelings. I’ve never been high in my life, but I’d think it is something like that.
My favorite lucid dream currently involves my mother. She passed away in 2006, and every once in a while, she will ‘visit’ me in a lucid dream. No I don’t believe she’s actually visiting me, but it is still comforting to have these dreams. She usually talks to me and she’s always happy. I can control these to some extent by focusing on her and trying to keep her with me as long as possible. Sometimes people don’t talk about these kinds of dreams because they don’t want to be seen as crazy. But, it is not about craziness, it’s a natural phenomenon that has been studied extensively (see reference above).
Regardless, it can be a fun experience: happy dreams!