Can Lucid Dreams Happen Spontaneously?

by Justin via Email

Can you have a lucid dream without trying to have one? Or do you have to try to get one to have one? Because I had sleep paralysis and wasn't sure whether or not I had a lucid dream after, and I didn't know anything about lucid dreams until the next day. And I'm not 100% sure if I had an OBE or not. Is this still a lucid dream?

Rebecca Casale

Rebecca says: Yes, you can have a spontaneous lucid dream. I imagine this was how the concept was first discovered! This is also how children have spontaneous lucid dreams. In fact, some people I know have lucid dreams just by thinking about something specific as they fall asleep. They never realized what they were doing was lucid dreaming.

You can tell if you had a lucid dream if you:

  1. Knew that you were dreaming, in the dream; or
  2. Could control your awareness in the dream, or certain dream elements.

Often you can't control EVERYTHING in a lucid dream, this is normal. Your unconscious still plays a role and creates scenery for you. The important thing is; you have self awareness of your body in the dream world.

I can't really say if you had a lucid dream or OBE without more information... In any case it is very difficult to determine the difference until you personally have experienced both!

About The Author

About The Author

Rebecca Casale is a lucid dreamer and a science writer with a special interest in biology and the brain. She is the founder of World of Lucid Dreaming and Science Me.