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Lucid Dream: Good or Bad?

When people are sleeping, they may have dreams. Some might remember the activities that they did in their dreams, and some may forget everything. It happens because we can’t control our fantasies, and we just follow whatever occurs in our subconscious mind. There is a unique phenomenon that people can control their dreams. According to Gackenbach (1991), a lucid dream is when the dreamer knows that they are dreaming while the dreams are already taking place. Such lucid dream features recollection of waking life, power over activities, and knowledge of decision-making abilities (c.f. Holzinger, LaBerge & Levitan, 2006; Holzinger, LaBerge & Tholey, 1998).

People can have lucid dreams infrequently. However, there is a range of lucid dream frequency, from never (approximately 40–50 percent), weekly (roughly 20 percent), to a small minority of people who have lucid dreams multiple times per week or, in some cases, every night (Baird et al., 2018, p. 1). There are two cycles in our brain, REM and non-REM sleep. During REM sleep, there is an increased heartbeat and eye movement. Besides that, your brain is also active. Meanwhile, during non-REM sleep, some activities show the weakness of your brain, heartbeat, and eye movement.  A lucid dream happens during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.


In accordance with LaBerge (1987), the lucid dream has impacts on mental and physical well-being. He described mental health and physical health as an adaptive response to life’s challenges. In addition, as stated by Garfield (1980), lucid dreams give people the ability to face problems. There is an improvement in self-esteem, life satisfaction, and general well-being. People who have lucid dreams have more chances to reencounter the lucid dream. Therefore, it could train us in developing our ability to face events. Besides that, the dreamers could also make a free decision to elaborate their behaviors when lucid dreaming. In line with Galvin’s (1990) research, lucid dreamers have a higher degree of self-coherence than non-lucid dreamers. Moreover, as claimed by Tholey (1981), lucid dreams are beneficial for maintaining mental health. On a measure of self-confidence, regular lucid dreamers outperform non-lucid dreamers.


Nevertheless, a lucid dream also has many risks. For example, sleep problems. People that experienced lucid dreams frequently might have sleep disorders. Although they can change the storyline of their night dream, fear and anxiety might come. They also have experienced derealization or an altered state of reality in which someone’s environment becomes unreal or strange. Because of the lucid dream, people will find it difficult to determine which is real. The other risk is dissociation. Dissociation is the action of separating yourself from another. This action happens because reality has overlap. Everything in someone’s dream and reality looks the same. People will disconnect from their surroundings.

Thus, a lucid dream could be either good or bad. It depends on how often you get this dream. If you want to try to make a lucid dream, make sure you understand its risks.


Baird, B., Castelnovo, A., Gosseries, O., & Tononi, G. (2018). Frequent lucid dreaming associated with increased functional connectivity between frontopolar cortex and temporoparietal association areas. Scientific Reports, 8(1), 1–15. Retrieved March 27, 2021, from

Georg Gittler, Brigitte Holzinger, E. D. (2009). Dreaming, lucid dreaming and personality. International Journal of Dream Research, 2(2), 52–57. Retrieved March 27, 2021, from

Nunez, K. (2019, June 17). Lucid dreaming: Controlling the storyline of your dreams. Healthline. Retrieved March 27, 2021, from

147 thoughts on “Lucid Dream: Good or Bad?”

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