Why do some people become natural lucid dreamers?

What is it that makes some people have a natural talent for lucid dreaming?
Obviously it has something to do with their logic center being more active than usual, but why is it more active?
Are natural lucid dreamers more critically aware of their environment and more curious of waking life?
Or are some people just born with a more active logic center that doesn’t practically shut off quite as easily as for most other people?

I think that part of the question is answerable by metabolism.

That is, anyone who can fall asleep easily is more likely to be a lucid dreamer. But, of course, there are exceptions to this. I don’t fall asleep easily, but I’ve had lots of lucid dreams. (I just have to try harder than people who can fall asleep in five minutes.)

As far as a “more active logic center”…What if the answer doesn’t lie in nature but in nuture? What if it’s not about being born with the right sort of brain for lots of lucid dreaming, but it’s about how you use your brain?

We know from anthropology that some cultures have more lucid dreams than others. Is it because they’re biologically different, though? Or is it due to a different cultural theory of dreaming? A different relationship to dreams?

A have a friend who is a “natural lucid dreamer,” and I’ve wondered if he’s biologically wired for it, but I’ve also considered that he’s a caffeine addict. Sometimes he drinks twelve Coca Colas in a day. Caffeine stimulate the pre-frontal cortex, causing to be more wakeful during sleep. Some LDers use caffeine to induce lucidity. It could be as simple as that.

Before looking to causes in the brain, look at diet, sleeping habits, etc.

I can fall asleep quickly but only ever had 2 or 3 natural lucid dreams in my life. I really don’t know what causes it, but just being aware about what lucid dreaming is can increase your amount of lucid dreams in some cases. A lot of my friends get lucid dreams all the time but they don’t have any control.
Apparently it’s already Wednesday. Time difference <3

It’s worth saying that a lot of “natural lucid dreamers” that I’ve met are actually control dreamers who are sometimes lucid. That is, they control their dreams a lot, from a place of occasional semi-lucidity, but don’t have lucid dreams in the sense that many on this forum do. They don’t stop and reflect on the dreamscape itself, or interview DCs, or act out pre-planned missions.

Of course, certainly there are natural lucid dreamers who are very lucid too. But their lucidity might still not square with the definition in the online lucid dreaming community—because lucidity is so often conflated with control.

Even in advanced Tibetan Dream Yoga, the yogis are supposedly lucid in their dreams all the time, but they expressly don’t control the dream in much of the practice.

But one thing is certain: the brain is related to lucidity. Lucidity, however it’s used, is correlated with activity in the pre-frontal cortex during sleep. The brain regions associated with working memory and reasoning are firing almost, or as, intensely as when you’re awake.

Are certain people predisposed, biologically, to have PFC activity during dreams? Maybe. Probably. I don’t know if it matters. We know, from research into meditation, that PFC activity can be learned. We know that, with meditation, a person becomes biologically more capable (because the brain is plastic, and changes) of handling negative emotion. Certainly that would be useful in dreams. And, in fact, research shows that meditators resolve bad dreams with more ease.

Yes, I noticed that most people I know who get lucid dreams all the time never even considered controlling the dream.

I agree with dreamosis, It’s more likely a combination of factors such as biology and nuturing/lifestyle changes. For a spiritual answer I would suggest past lives and soul-age.

I had my first LD at age 4, something I taught myself due to a recurring nightmare. I loved the experience and strived for more and been a natural ever since. I’m the most illogical person you’d ever meet so I’d say it’s more a case of heightened awareness and adaptability.

I’ve been a natural lucid dreamer for almost as long as I can remember. That means somewhere ages 6-7.

Up until then, I literally had no memory of dreaming AT ALL. I even doubted dreams do exist, as sleeping for me was go to sleep, not sleep for half an hour, then instantly wake up, feeling as if no time passed. But it was morning. (or worse; I have the habit of being 100% able to sleep more 24 hours straight sometimes if no one tries to wake me up)

My first ‘dreaming experience’ was a nightmare at around that age. I vividly remember it making no sense. It wasn’t ‘scary’ in and of itself. Visually, it was a bunch of lines (seeming to go in more than 3 dimensions) that kept appearing (I described it then as ‘building up’) and dissapearing (‘breaking back down’). After that one, all my dreams have been lucid.

It took me roughly half a year to gain control of the ‘dream reality’ around me, and now I am able to change almost everything (sometimes even go as far as to mess with the laws of physics in realtime; it does wake me up some of the times, but some it does not). Also, I am fully able to read and, worse, actually do mathematics in dreams. I also am able to freely change my shape, into non-neccesarily humanoid bodies. (I have the habit of describing myself as a god while in a dream)

Now, in terms of brain activity:
-I have a quite high intellect (IQ of 136, the top 1%)
-My thoughs are very fluid; I have a very easy time understanding a concept no matter how abstract, and then quickly integrate it in my thinking
-I am both ‘rational’ (really, really love maths and physics) and ‘emotional’ (I like a lot of arts, including paintings and movies, and I write highly abstractized and symbolistic literature at an amateur level; although I strive to become professional)
-I am insanely quick with ideas. It takes me little to no time to come up with something, and then describe it in full detail, all on the fly.
-My sleeping habits are to sleep a LOT. Forget the ‘6-8 hours’. To me, it’s ‘10-14’ on average, but as I said earlier, I sometimes end up just sleeping 24 hours straight, or more.
-I don’t drink coffee at all (I hate it), and sometimes (less than once a month) I drink black tea.
-My personality is information-oriented (INTP for the mbti type, for those who know), and thus I really enjoy thinking up all sorts of philosophical ideas and in general gaining knowledge about everything. I also have a latent dominating tendency, but most of the type I prefer to keep it in check, just using it to not get dominated myself.

This is all firsthand information about natural lucid dreaming, and I honestly hope it helps. I’m quite interested to find out what causes it, really. So, just ask if you are curious to anything more. I’ll be happy to answer!

I think Robert Waggoner said that majority of “natural” lucid dreamers he met learned the skill as children due to reoccurring nightmares. I’m noticing the trend as well.

Alcarain, it may be the reason why you are a natural as well (if I understood your nightmare story well). What did you mean by saying you can mess with physics in real time? Also, no offense, but other things you listed are quite easy for most lucid dreamers. It may take practice, but I don’t think they are at the end of “lucid possibilities” spectrum.
It’s interesting that you call yourself god, though I can see your point. Have you ever had problems with dream characters defying your superiority? I know that it happens quite often - subconscious mind likes to teach power-hungry dreamers some respect by showing that not everything is under their control, and I think it’s quite amusing.

DeskRaven, it may indeed be the reason I’m a natural. Although it didn’t reoccur, it still was a nightmare (going by defining the terror; to anyone, the image itself wouldn’t be scary. It was more a pure terror feeling all around)

Also, that I mean by the realtime physics change is that I can change the way physics works, at any point. That is, make stuff fall up. Give the world one more dimension. Make something be there or stop being there (right out, with no need of intermediary switching phase, including the famous falling and so on). I have what seems to me like full control over the whole of my dream reality. The moments I wake up are when I try really freaking absurd stuff, like suddenly bashing a 4th dimension to the world. (it does work sometimes, though)

Also, dream characters come in two flavours for me. Either those who know I exist, or those who do not. Those who don’t never defy, but most of the time I don’t impose myself either. I use dreams to visualize scenes I write about during day, so I prefer to leave characters that are unaware ‘to their own devices’. Those that are aware mostly don’t know my dream self as the god there, so they treat me accordingly. For example, a bully will bully me, but run in fear when I begin spitting flames at him, then yell at how I’m the devil. Or the likewise, depending on the crafted personality of the dream character. (I pay a LOT of attention to it; it’s one of the most interesting points of lucid dreaming for me, crafting characters then seeing them react, and how those reactions change with identical characters except some minor difference).

But in the end, any dream manifestation I have never can actually do something I disagree should be done. If I want it to do an action, it will. For the sake of consistency, I ‘put’ a reason why in its mind, or leave it be and then watch it confused and trying to explain what happened (demonic possession is popular for middle ages, and mind control or hypnosis for more modern ones).

Also, I don’t know if it’s the same for most lucid dreamers, but by default I’m not there physically. Just a third-person incorporeal watcher, looking at literally nothing (my dark dream box, I call it). From there I create the cadre (or ‘load’ it from memory of either a past dream or writing during the day) and then add characters and maybe myself. Most of the time I keep to watching though.

In fact, one of the biggest challenges for me was to manifest at 1st person satisfyingly. Imagine that if you thought ‘hm, that cup should be more to the side’ and the cup instantly went there. While you were supposed to be your ‘normal’ self, not ‘boss o’ da timespace ovah hiar’. Kills the mood. Does that happen to ‘non-natural’ lucid dreamers too? Too much control? (or too ‘often’ to call it; meaning to have to train the ability to stop changing stuff around?)

In the end, I call myself god due to nothing in my dreams being different from how I want it, as long as it’s not a self-imposed limit. (can an omnipotent god create a stone too heavy for himself to lift? The answer for me is ‘Not if he’s always a god. But as I can stop being god for a while, then yes’)

(gah, rambling too much already)

Oh, also, no offense taken. I don’t really know much more than the basics of how someone lucidly dreams ‘normally’ (I don’t like calling it that, but it’s the most appropriate, I guess).

Oh, also, I forgot to mention. Dream checks don’t work for me. All clocks are right, fingers the good amount, stuff is solid, and makes sense. I hear it’s hard for people to read in dreams (is that true?), but I can do it consistently, and also go as far as to undergo logical thought process to solve math problems.

The only thing that really poses a challenge is figuring out how to work my own internal clock more finely. I can roughly control the duration of a dream, but it’s insanely hard to actually keep it going for more than a few (straight) in-dream days before losing grip (i.e. the dream world around me literally dissipates, and I wake up).

(dammit. Rambling again)

Hm, your experience sounds really interesting… the “too much control”, especially. You should really experiment with it, trying to go beyond the dream "e.g. get precognitive information, mutual dreaming, experiencing concepts that you would have no preconceptions about). Post the results, I’d like to know how it goes!

In terms of reality checks, I think they often work according to your beliefs and expectations. I didn’t believe that reading should be a problem, and when I tried to do that I succeeded (though forgot what I read when I woke up). Same with solidity of things, or how hands appear. I’ve had hands looking normal on some occasions (usually when I don’t really believe to be in a dream, and thus expect them to be normal) and altered in others (when I’m already lucid).

You also said you can be lucid for a few “in-dream days”. Did you mean that it seems as if days passed, but there were gaps, like they create an illusion of a day passing in movies by making a cut from day to night? I’m asking because Stephen LaBerge experimented with this in a lab and concluded that time in dream and in reality is more or less the same - 10secs here is the same as 10 secs in a dream (he did this by counting to 10 in a dream and signaling beginning and end of the count by eye signals measured by EOG).

That’s a really interesting idea, with going ‘beyond the dream’. I’m going to begin looking into it. I did have some moments before you could call prescience, but you can also call them subconscious thinking. But I’ll give it a shot, and tell you guys how it worked.

Also, for in-dream days: I mean actual seemingly-passing time. I don’t remember everything (but that being said, I don’t remember half of what I did yesterday, so… might be that one…), but I meant continuous time pass. There may be some unconscious skips when doing repetitive or mundane tasks, but it still has the ‘continuity’ feeling. Also, I don’t sleep in dreams often, and when I do it acts like a full out skip (maybe I dream in the dream, but it behaves like it used to, full memory wipe on waking up? Note-to-self: experiment with lucid dreaming in a lucid dream).

As for the passage of dreamtime vs realtime. I honestly doubt there’s a fixed ratio, due to the relativity of time perception. If I do something boring, time seems to pass slower, and the reverse when I enjoy myself. Couple that with the internal clock of the brain being susceptible of confusion (if you have messy sleep times, and in general, if you sleep, but are not allowed to look at a clock, it’s hard to actually answer the question ‘how much did you sleep’). As I said, for me it seems to be a couple more times more time in a dream than in reality, but that could very well be just a feeling, due to skips being made in unconspicuous ways even to my own psyche (I do something boring, and my brain goes ‘oh come on, just freaking finish already’ and lo and behold, it does. And I also have ‘memory’ of what I did. As the brain only really needs to replicate the feeling of time passing and show it in the memory of a few minutes of activity, it may work).

So experiments for later this week (still have to help that person I know with the sleep paralysis first and foremost):
-Go past the dream
-Dream lucidly in a dream
-Try to figure out a ratio between realtime and dreamtime