Lucid dreaming is a psychological phenomenon in which the dreamer is capable of controlling his actions within the dream. In addition, you are able to immerse into the dreamworld with complete clarity. Anything that you hear, see or smell while dreaming feels as authentic as reality.
This extraordinary experience enables you to explore the astral planes, since with practice, you will be able not only to control your own actions, but the environment as well. We can conclude that our brain precedes modern VR devices, and is actually the original VR machine.
Most likely, at first, you will use this ability to fulfill your fantasies. But this phenomenon also holds the key of resolving some of your inner conflicts, psychological issues, or to get in touch with your inner creativity.
That being said, we can draw some conclusive parallels between lucid dreaming and VR experience. They can both take us places that would be virtually impossible to reach in real life. Many VR users report that they have lucid dreams more frequently after exposure to virtual reality.
Can VR induce lucid dreaming?
Several researches found that gamers often have a better sense of awareness during their dreams. While playing, you get used to controlling something, so you are more likely to try and control your dreams as well. The basic idea behind this is that when you spend a lot of time in controllable and fictional world, you might look at the dream world through the same lens.
The truth is, while you are using a VR device, you put your brain in a state that very much resembles the REM state. Virtual environments are getting ever more immersive, and offer the experiences such as deep sea diving, flying, and many more activities that are almost, if not completely, impossible in the real world.
The one activity that can increase the frequency of lucid dreaming to engage yourself in more “dream-like” thinking. Hence it is indeed plausible, and even likely that engagement in virtual-reality programs will induce the higher frequency of lucid dreaming.
Human brain – The ultimate VR device
There are several differences between VR and lucid dreaming which prove that, while technology is advancing quickly, human brain is still the most amazing piece of “software”. In VR experiences, everything is basically a code. Even tough it is an amazing sensation, it has its boundaries and limitations.
On the other hand, our brain, especially during the REM phase, is limitless. The tricky part is, that in order to become a lucid dreamer, some practice is required. Scientists argue that everyone is capable of lucid dreaming, it is just a matter of training and mastering the proper techniques. If you are already a lucid dreamer, lucky you! If not, you can read and learn more about lucid dreams.
It seems that dreaming is such a crucial aspect of humanity, that we are striving to develop technologies that can create these dream-like environments. The birth of the VR is certainly creating the new age of human experience, pushing its extent to yet unknown limits.
If in future we maintain the respect for both of our virtual worlds – biological and technological, and do our best to develop a mutually beneficial relation between them, we are in for an exciting and bright future!