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Is Lucid Dreaming dangerous?

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Lucid dreaming refers to the fascinating phenomenon of being aware that you’re dreaming while still in the dream. This awareness often enables the dreamer to exert some degree of control over their dream events, characters and environment.

Despite the thrill and potential personal growth and emotional healing associated with it, there are common concerns and questions that individuals have about engaging in lucid dreaming – a primary one being: “Is lucid dreaming dangerous?” This article aims to address these concerns comprehensively.

Before going into the potential dangers of lucid dreaming, it’s important to clarify some misconceptions. Some people fear that they may be trapped in a lucid dream and unable to awaken, or that if they “die” in a lucid dream, they will die in real life.

Please note that these are mere myths.

You cannot become trapped in a sleep state, and anything that happens in dreams does not have a direct impact on the physical body. You will always, inevitably, wake up. But while these cinematic-style myths are unfounded, are there any other real dangers that you should be aware of?

Mental and Emotional Dangers of Lucid Dreaming

When people ask “Is lucid dreaming dangerous?” they primarily refer to its mental and emotional implications. These concerns are not baseless, as engaging intensely with our subconscious mind opens us up to facing thoughts and memories we may generally avoid in our waking life.

A nightmare-ish scene showing a silhouette in the distance

Negative dream content, such as nightmares, may be more vivid during lucid dreaming. The dreamer—he though conscious of the fact that it’s a dream—may experience intense emotions. For someone unprepared or emotionally vulnerable, this could be distressing. But it’s important to note that dream content, lucid or not, is a personal creation of the mind and can be navigated safely with the proper mindset and techniques.

In addition, claims have spread about lucid dreaming potentially inducing mental disorders like Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) or Schizophrenia. Though it might seem plausible to think that engaging in a different plane of consciousness could exacerbate or cause such conditions, no concrete scientific data backs these claims. It’s also important to note that conditions like DID and Schizophrenia have complex, multi-factorial causes and are not the result of a single activity or habit. Understanding these nuances helps dispel unnecessary fears about lucid dreaming.

Despite these mental and emotional considerations, many argue that the potential benefits of lucid dreaming significantly outweigh these challenges, particularly when the practice is approached correctly. The next sections will delve deeper into these aspects.

Physical Dangers of Lucid Dreaming

Physically, there are no recorded ill-effects of lucid dreaming. Our bodies are designed to sleep, dream, and even have nightmares without causing us any harm. The biggest potential physical danger associated with lucid dreaming is the same as with any normal dream – accidental physical movement that could lead to injury, such as falling out of bed.

However, it should be mentioned that the brain usually maintains a state of sleep paralysis during dreaming, specifically to prevent dream-induced movements. Instances of occasional physical movements are likely outliers and not the norm.

Scientific Research on the Dangers of Lucid Dreaming

According to current scientific literature, lucid dreaming in itself does not hold any inherent dangers. But it’s worth noting that the exploration of this phenomenon is ongoing, and our understanding of it continues to evolve.

Various studies do point to a correlation between frequent lucid dreaming and certain sleep problems – notably, narcolepsy and disturbed sleep. The actual causal relationship, if any, between lucid dreaming and sleep disturbances remains unknown at this point.

In fact, studies that set out to explore the potential adverse effects of Lucid Dreaming has come up short. 1 Several times. 2

Studies on lucid dreaming’s impact on mental health is inconclusive, and concrete learnings about it are yet to be made. Thus far, the practice hasn’t been proven to directly cause any mental health issues.

How to Safely Practice Lucid Dreaming

Despite the various concerns revolving around lucid dreaming, one of the most effective precautions you can take is to approach the practice from a place of education and respect. Understanding that facing difficulties in lucid dreams is a part of the process can ease the fear associated with it.

When facing challenging or intense dream content, one technique to employ is dream rehearsal. This involves imagining a different, more positive outcome to the dream while you are awake. This strategy can potentially aid in transforming the dream content the next time you lucid dream.

It’s also crucial to maintain a healthy balance when practicing lucid dreaming. Overindulgence in any activity can potentially lead to negative consequences, and lucid dreaming is no exception. Regular practice is fine, but becoming obsessed with lucid dreaming, and neglecting real-world responsibilities or causing stress, is unhealthy behaviour.

What also can’t be overstated is seeking professional help if the need arises. Any consistent difficulty sleeping, repeated nightmares, or other emotional distress associated with dreams should be communicated to a healthcare professional, who can provide appropriate guidance.


  1. Stumbrys, Tadas. “Dispelling the shadows of the lucid night: An exploration of potential adverse effects of lucid dreaming.” Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice 10.2 (2023): 152. ↩︎
  2. Schredl, Michael, Sophie Dyck, and Anja Kühnel. “Lucid dreaming and the feeling of being refreshed in the morning: a diary study.” Clocks & sleep 2.1 (2020): 54-60. ↩︎

First time hearing about
lucid dreaming?

My name is Lucy, I’ve been a lucid dreamer since 2001. It all started when one of my friends told me about her lucid dream experiences.

The mere fact that she told me was enough, and that very night I became aware of the fact that I was dreaming while in my dream. Luciddreamhub.com is my attempt to do the same favour for all of my readers.

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