Is lucid dreaming a unique physiological state?

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Dream researchers have long sought to determine if lucid dreaming is identifiable by a unique physiological state. Whereas normal dreaming is known to be accompanied by changes in breathing and eye movement, particularly REM or rapid eye movement, the question of whether lucid dreaming has a different set of observable physical changes. Results so far indicate that there is no such distinction just as there are no physical markers for other altered states such as out-of-body experiences and trances.

The onset of a lucid dream dream is marked by eye movement, pauses in breathing, brief changes in heart rate, and skin response changes, but there is no unique combination that allows the lucidity to be identified by an observer. It seems that with some regularity lucid dreaming can be predicted based on waking events and conditions such as heightened anxiety or stress.

It seems that once the brain is sufficiently aroused it is possible to use critical thought to become aware that it is a dream and hence become lucid. But no unique cortical events have been identified during sleep that would mark lucid dreams as different than regular dreams.