To put lucid dreaming in simple words, it is a dream in which the dreamer realizes that he is dreaming. Understanding what is lucid dreaming is altogether a different story.
Researchers have found that there are two types of lucid dreaming. The first type is Dream Initiated Lucid Dreaming (DILD), wherein the person goes off to sleep, starts dreaming, and later realizes that it is a dream. However, the other type of lucid dreaming is strange and rather rare. It is known as Wake Initiated Lucid Dreaming (WILD), where in the person goes directly into dream from normal waking condition. There is hardly any loss of consciousness.
Neuroscientists mention that dream takes place in the mind of a sleeping person, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is usually deactivated. However, if the sleeping person is able to activate this cortex, he may be able to realize that he is actually dreaming.
However, many patients suffer from nightmares due to this habit, and may eventually become a victim of hypnophobia. But if they are really conscious all the time, and have the ability to think, it can actually be a solution for those afraid of nightmares. Their active minds help them realize that they are actually dreaming, and nothing is for real. However, the best for a patient is to learn lucid dreaming techniques.
There is a technique to enter a dream while sleeping, and it has to be practiced overtime to perfect the technique. Although lucid dreaming has been a subject of exploration for a while now, the perception of time by the dreamers is yet a mystery. Some lucid dreamers report that time is similar to that in the waking state. However, some report that the time passes much slower and an entire dream is reported to have seen in about 10 seconds. However, there are no evidences to this, as it is eventually a dream. The patient experiences different lucid dreaming stories, one after another.
But lucid dreaming should not be confused with dream control, wherein the dreamer takes control of the dream and brings about a desired outcome. But these controllers often forget what their objective of life is, when actually controlling the dream.