Is Lucid Dreaming Addictive?

by Nikki via Email

Is lucid dreaming addictive? I really want to have lucid dreams but I read that lucid dreaming is really addictive and this worries me. Would you compare this need to taking drugs? How do you keep control over it?

Rebecca Turner

Rebecca says: Let me start out by explaining the literal definition of addiction: the condition of being abnormally dependent on some habit or substance. When you withdraw from the substance or habit, you get cravings and, in severe addiction, physical withdrawal pain.

This is not the case with lucid dreaming. Sure, it is a lot of fun and people want to do it, just like people want to go dancing or rock climbing or play the guitar. It can become an important part of your life like any other pastime. But, unlike the common focus of addictions like drugs or alcohol, there is no psychological nor physiological addictive need to lucid dream.

And how could there be? You dream for 100 minutes per night, and I guarantee that won't all be spent lucid dreaming (unless you have a rare condition of permanent lucidity, which develops in childhood). Even highly experienced lucid dreamers admit they don't lucid dream every night. So I ask: how can we become addicted to something so elusive as to be unavailable for 95% of our conscious daily existence?

I have read in the media that "lucid dreaming is addictive" but this is a poor use of language. They are trying to say that it's highly enjoyable and you'll want to do it more... not that you won't be able to live a normal existence without frequent injections of its chemical or mental stimulus.

About The Author

About the author

Rebecca Turner is a science writer, illustrator, explorer of consciousness - and founder of World of Lucid Dreaming. She is currently studying for a biology degree in Auckland and blogging at her site Science Me.