Living in Dreamworld

People who recognize when they're dreaming say they can enact any fantasy.

ByABC News
November 30, 2007, 11:41 AM

Nov. 30, 2007— -- Somewhere in between the Cinderella school of dreaming and the darker dreamscape of "The Matrix" lies Stephen LaBerge, an expert in a technique called lucid dreaming.

He believes that what happens to people in their dreams is as real an experience as what happens in real life.

By becoming aware that they're dreaming while they're asleep, lucid dreamers say they can learn to consciously control and manipulate the dreamscape, allowing them to live out their wildest fantasies in a virtual reality with no earthly boundaries.

A renowned lucid dreaming expert, LaBerge spent more than a decade researching the science of lucid dreaming at Stanford University. In his most groundbreaking experiment, he showed that lucid dreamers can consciously signal from the dream world while in REM sleep.

The author of several books on the topic, LaBerge developed a plethora of techniques to help people gain lucidity, including the NovaDreamer, a special sleep mask.

LaBerge believes that, with proper training, people can actually control their dreams, provided they learn how to recognize that they're dreaming while still asleep.

In a way, he is teaching people how to live their dreams.

"All you have to say is, 'This is a dream. Anything is possible.' If there's somewhere I wanna go, I'm there," LaBerge said.

In lucid dreams, one can fly like a superhero, master martial arts with no fear of injury, or have a tryst with a total stranger.

"[It's] the place where you can do anything without external consequences. So it's a place you can safely explore how to live, what to do, what you might want to do," LaBerge said.