There must have been times when you would have had dreams that felt so realistic that it becomes almost impossible for you to distinguish between what’s a virtual reality and what’s actually real. But similarly, you would have also encountered such explicit dreams that feel so unrealistic and out of the ordinary that even while you are unconscious in sleep, you are still well aware that it is a dream. The differences between the former and later can be characterized as vivid and lucid dreams.

What are vivid dreams?

It’s a common misconception that when your body goes to recharge when you sleep, the brain remains inactive. In reality, the brain remains quite active while we sleep and is often able to comprehend our dreams. Most people don’t even remember or just have a vague picture of what they had dreamt of but at times, these dreams can be so intense that they linger above your head even after you wake up, often referred to as vivid dreams.

These can be both positive and negative, fantasy or realistic. Vivid dreams that enhance the feeling of joy and excitement in your body often leave you wanting to go back and continue the dream from where you left off when you wake up. Similarly, some dreams are so unrealistically fantastic that you might not be able to comprehend how your brain had conjured such strange scenarios. However, some vivid dreams can also be quite upsetting and interfere with one’s quality of sleep.

A vivid dream can hold countless meanings. By studying dream patterns, one can analyze the symbolic elements present in our dreams. Neurocognitive research indicates that dreams are representative of our repressed memories or might be a way of how we perceive the stuff that goes around in our daily lives. However, vivid dreams are not necessarily a recollection of what you have recently encountered in real-life activities.

Interpreting vivid dreams and attaching useful meanings to them has both become entertainment and a source of self reflection in today’s time. For years neurologists have studied dream patterns to analyze if our dreams actually hold a meaning. However they have not yet come to a conclusive judgment if any, but many analysts have still used observation and thorough research to attach meanings to a few of the most common vivid dreams pattern.

What are lucid dreams?

Specialists explain this term by characterizing lucid dreams as the ones in which the person is subconsciously aware that he or she’s dreaming. It is due to the fact that the facts present in the dream or the situation is so unrealistic and out of the ordinary that the person can easily recognize that this is not happening in real,

 This can also be termed as something that is so out of the ordinary that the person sub consciously knows that something isn’t right and making sense. You become fully aware of the weirdness that appears to you in this time frame.

So how are vivid and lucid dreams different?

While these two are pretty much interlinked, the key differences between the two are very important so that when you wake up or immerse yourself in deep sleep next time, you are fully aware how to differentiate between the two types

Degree of reality between the two

As mentioned above in the article by the very definitions of the two, the major differences lies between the level of reality that is displayed in the facts, characters, settings and the  entrire situation of the dream.

When you would be experiencing a vivid dream, the whole situation would seem so realistic that you would not be able to tell if it’s happening in real or not. Mostly the cases that appear in front of you are repressed memories of some kind. In contrast, if you are experiencing a lucid dream, then something so weird would appear in the setting that would clearly tell you this can’t possibly be real

Level of consciousness of the dreamer

While mostly one can’t actually tell that they are experiencing a dream in the current moment, instances with lucid dreams are pretty much different. In such dreams, the level of unordinary setting is quite high thus the person in his conscious knows that they are actually going through a dream. But when vivid dreams appear, they seem very realistic thus the person remains unconscious until he wakes up.

Lucid and vivid dreams may appear at the same time

While its common to have a lucid dream with a range of weird elements to it and a few additional factors that seem a bit realistic, it is important to note that you may even have the two at the same time. If you are experiencing one, then it has to be either lucid dream or a vivid dream or a mix of both.

For instance, if you are having a vivid dream where most of the factors seem very realistic and relatable to your actual life, here or there an element might appear that is so unrealistic that it would point towards a lucid dream. Note here that even though there is a mix of realistic and unrealistic factors in the same dream, the realistic factor would always be more that would make the dream vivid in particular. 

Level of control by the individual

There must have been instances where you would have just wished to change the particular result of the event in your dream. Well guess what? If you are having a lucid dream, you might be able to control and change some element of your dream

But since the reality factor in vivid dreams is quite high, there are very less chances of being able to do the same in them. Majorly the reason lies in their nature of being the self refection of your everyday life.

Additional effectsWhen you are experiencing a vivid dream, it might have full color, stimulated pain, the effect of touch or smell or any other sensory information that would make the entire experience more realistic. On the other hand, you might not be able to experience these elements in a lucid dream.

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