“In lucid dreaming, you are dreaming and know that you are dreaming. A dream becomes lucid when your daytime ‘wake consciousness’ becomes active while you are in a dream- so you are dreaming and know you are dreaming.”
“Vivid dreams arise from Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, in which the brain is as active as it is when the body is awake. These dreams are extremely vivid, so much so that the dreamer often has trouble understanding that he or she is not actually awake.”
I think it’s time I discuss the extra complicated layer about my lucid and vivid dreams. Sometimes, I’ll mention this topic to my friends because it’s an excellent conversation starter, but there are a lot of parts that I leave out. Every time I go to sleep I have a lucid or vivid dream. And for quite some time it wasn’t so bad. I mean, I’d dream about getting ready for work, going to work and completing the entirety of my day, just to wake up feeling mentally exhausted because I have to repeat the same thing over again in waking life. Majority of the time, I vivid dream about being late for school or going to work. Some of the time, a tiny detail in my dream will turn it from vivid to lucid. For example, for the last few days I’ve been lucid dreaming about cashing out customers at my store. It occurs to me in the middle of the dream that I’m dreaming because I begin to remember that I no longer work at that store.
So you see these stories can be quite provocative and interesting. Especially when I share this story: every now and then I’ll hear the ringtone of my alarm in waking life. I’ll be out shopping and someone’s phone will sound off. Usually, this ringtone is someone’s text tone or call tone–but because my dreams are so incredibly vivid I always have to double check that I’m not dreaming.
The extra complicated layer has to do with my Dad. At at the beginning of 2016, the fifth anniversary of my Dad’s death, I started vivid dreaming about him dying. Usually, these dreams start off with him getting sick the very same way he did in real life. Then he’ll get worse and die. I’ve noticed there is an alternative ending to these dreams as well: Sometimes he survives, but most times in those dreams he just gets sick again.
While I’m having these dreams I am very aware that I’m dreaming. Yet, that never stops the horrible feeling I have when I wake up. The fact that they are so vivid always fools me into believing that they’re real. I always enter these dreams knowing that my Dad is going to die and something inside of me waits for it to happen. While the something else hopes that it won’t. I have had a dream where my Dad survives and doesn’t get sick again– but just after he fully recovers I wake up and remember that he doesn’t survive. The extra complicated layer of my lucid and vivid dreams has to be that it has been five years since my Dad died, but every dream I have makes it seem like it happened yesterday.