First of all, let’s start off by explaining what a dream is. Dreams are a succession of events, images or scenarios that occur involuntarily in our minds as we pass across the “stages of sleep”. Dreams can trigger sensations and emotions that can linger even after you wake up.
What are the stages of sleep?
Basically, there are four(4) stages of sleep, one of which involves rapid eye movement(REM) and three others involve non-rapid eye movement(NREM).
STAGE 1 (NREM)– This is the first stage of sleep, a person can easily be woken up in this stage. If there is no disturbance or noise, the person can move into stage two within 5-10mins.
STAGE 2 (NREM)– Most people spend half their sleep in stage 2. In this stage the body and muscles relaxes, and the body temperature reduces.
STAGE 3 (NREM)– This is the stage that gives our body the feeling of satisfaction, it is the most important stage of sleep. In stage 3, the pulse drops and the body relaxes even further. It is more difficult to wake a person up during this stage.
STAGE 4 (REM)– Rapid eye movement occurs during this stage of sleep. The brain activity picks up almost as if you’re awake. Dreams are most common in this stage. It is also solely responsible for lucid dreaming.
What is a Lucid Dream?
A lucid dream occurs when you’re conscious in a dream. This means, you are fully aware that you’re dreaming and in some cases you can even manipulate your dream. Sounds almost like virtual reality but far more complex. This is the fun part, everyone has surely experienced this but sometimes they may not remember once they’re awake. During a lucid dream, you can change the environment you see yourself, literally anything you can mentally create becomes possible. That’s just how powerful the human mind is.
Explaining Virtual Reality
Virtual reality does not really need much explanation. In a nut shell, VR is a computer generated simulation where the user can interact with a 3D environment using electronic devices. like the image below;
LUCID DREAMING VS VIRTUAL REALITY
Now we know what they are, lets take a look at the interesting facts about Lucid dreaming and how they’re compared to Virtual Reality.
Lucid dreaming is completely natural and far more complex than virtual reality. When experiencing a computer simulation through VR, you can only see what is programmed into the computer.
The human brain is basically the most complex structure in the world. It is also far more powerful than any computer processor. So when you have a lucid dream, its like owning your own universe where you can do anything.
The down side is 90% of the time, you forget your dreams few minutes after you wake up. Virtual reality on the other hand, you’re fully conscious during each experience. This makes you remember everything you saw in detail for a long time.
Lucid dreaming only sends info to your brain, your body does not make any organized movement. In VR you are not just limited to brain signals but can actively interact with your environment. For example; lets say you’re having a lucid dream where you’re a warlord sword fighting your enemies, to anyone observing you, you’re just laying still on your bed. If you’re having this same experience in VR you’ll be swinging you’re arms and screaming at nothing to an observer.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS OF LUCID DREAMING or VR?
For lucid dreaming, well, not really. The only known side effect is the fact that it messes with your sleep and can sometimes cause sleep paralysis. None of those are really a big problem. Virtual reality has a problem of people bumping into real objects when in a simulation. Some people also complain of nausea, headaches or strain in their eyes after using the VR goggles and headset. Again none of them are too much of a big deal.