Lucid dreamers are people who are aware of their dreams and can control them to an extent. A new study revealed that most lucid dreamers try flying and having sex. These are the most popular activities that they choose to perform in their dreams. The study was published in the summer issue of the American Journal of Psychology.
For the researcher 570 people who confirmed that they have experienced lucid dreaming were surveyed. They were asked about the kind of dreams they had and whether they just observed their dreams as third persons or they actively participated and aimed to change the dream. The researchers also asked them about their favourite activities that they consciously wanted to undertake in their dreams.
About 350 participants said that they wished to do all those things that were impossible in real life. They planned while awake to execute these actions in their dreams; some of them were flying, doing magic, breathing under water, talking with animals, being someone else and time travelling.
Some of the participants also reported planning to carry out everyday activities in their dreams, such as having sex and doing sports. Lucid dreamers the report states also communicated with the other characters in their dreams and intended to change the scene or perspective or carry out violent actions such as fighting, killing or robbery. "Of all waking intentions, flying was the most popular one," the researchers said.
"Lucid dreamers are likely to be active in their lucid dreams, and aim to accomplish different actions, such as flying, talking with dream characters or sex, yet they are not always able to remember their intentions and successfully execute them," the researchers mentioned in the study.
Most of the time the participant's weren't actively aware of their intentions in their dreams though had different plans before going to sleep, however when they did remember they faced difficulty trying to execute them due to sudden waking up.
The intention behind lucid dreams is still unclear but the phenomenon has long fascinated scientists because it incorporates self-awareness and control, which are elements of wakefulness, into dreaming.
"Young children seem to have lucid dreams more frequently, and the frequency drops at about age 16, which suggests that lucid dreaming might be a natural phenomenon occurring in a developing brain but could be lost in adulthood," the researchers said.
Mostly lucid dreamers transform their nightmares into pleasant dreams; researchers suggest that tapping into lucid dreaming could help treat psychological problems. Some people experience lucid dreams very often and some may never experience it at all. There are people who have also claimed to have trained themselves into lucid dreaming.
In the study, the researchers looked into the frequency of their lucid dreams and the age at which their first lucid dream occurred. The responses indicated an average of 3 to 4 lucid dreams per month, with some people reporting up to nine lucid dreams per month. About 60 per cent of the participants had lucid dreams at least once a month and were considered frequent lucid dreamers.
The report also found out that a person's first lucid dream can occur as early as age 3, but is most likely to happen around ages 12 to 14. After the age of 25 the dreams eventually stop or may not occur at all, the researchers said. According to the study, their subjects experienced their first lucid dream at the age of 14 and it was in most cases spontaneous and experienced without any training.