Does Lucid Dreaming Affect Your Sleep Quality?

Dr. Dan JensenDreams

Does Lucid Dreaming Affect Your Sleep Quality?
Dr. Dan Jensen

Do you lucid dream at night? Some people are able to control their dreams during sleep, directing the course of the dream and their own actions, almost as if they were awake. But does lucid dreaming affect your sleep quality? It’s incredibly important that you are getting a great night’s sleep every night, and your health depends on your sleep.

What is Lucid Dreaming?

Lucid dreams are very vivid, and unlike in most dreams, during lucid dreaming the person knows they’re inside a dream. These dreams are often very stimulating, and the dreamer is active in directing and managing the events in the dream. Lucid dreaming is more common than you might think, and roughly 55% of people have reported having at least one lucid dream in their life.

No one knows exactly what causes lucid dreaming, but researchers have a few theories. Lucid dreaming occurs during the REM, or rapid eye movement cycle of sleep, and people who spend more time in REM are more likely to lucid dream. For example, people with narcolepsy, who fall asleep very suddenly and are immediately in deep sleep, are more prone to lucid dreaming than people who take a long time to fall sleep.

Does Lucid Dreaming Affect Sleep Quality?

If the person dreaming is able to direct the dream and be fully aware of what’s going on, it’s natural to wonder if it’s affecting sleep quality. A very vivid dream can often wake us up at night, or a seemingly too real nightmare can wake us with a start and make it almost impossible to fall asleep again. Do lucid dreams have the same affect? Not only that, but if someone is able to lucid dream, and they head to bed planning to control their dreams during the night, this would have a negative effect on sleep, making it harder to fall asleep, stay asleep, and wake up feeling rested.

There’s no denying that lucid dreams can be thrilling, and if you lucid dream, you look forward to having adventures during the night, and dictating the outcomes. However, lucid dreaming can inhibit relaxing and restful sleep, and the more involved you are in directing your dreams, the less benefit you’ll get from the hours you spend in bed.

Sleeping with Dreams

Do you dream a lot at night? If you spend a lot of hours dreaming, your sleep quality may be affected, and you’re more likely to wake up feeling tired and stressed. Sadly, this can create a negative feedback loop, where fatigue can cause more stressful or terrifying dreams, and you’ll have a harder time falling asleep at night, or be reluctant to go to bed.

How to Ensure Quality Sleep

Not everyone can control their dreams, and even if you can, it could be negatively affecting your sleep. What you can control is your sleep habits. Stick to a regular sleep schedule, getting up and going to bed at the same time every day. Avoid caffeine in the evening, or any sugary snacks. Getting enough exercise during the day, whether doing yoga, going to the gym, or taking your dog for a walk, will help you relax and sleep better at night. Keep your room at a cool temperature, and put up darkening blinds on the windows to give yourself the best chance to relax. Finally, change your evening habits, and stay away from your TV, computer, and smartphone for at least an hour before you go to bed. The blue light makes it harder for you to sleep, and all the activity on screen might fuel your dreams and disrupt your sleep.

Sound Sleep Medical

If you have lucid dreams, don’t try to control them. Even if you’re aware that you’re dreaming, allow the dream to play itself out. This will be more restful, and you’ll wake up feeling refreshed. For more tips on how to get a great night’s sleep every night, call us at Sound Sleep Medical to book an appointment with one of our knowledgeable sleep specialists. We’ll help you get to the bottom of your sleeplessness or your dreams, help you create good sleep habits to help you sleep, and find the perfect balance and routines that will ensure you’re getting the rest you need.