If you are aware that you are dreaming, then you are having a lucid dream. In some lucid dreams, you may also have a degree of control over the dream.
However, lucid dreams usually retain at least some “dreamlike” element to it – it’s unlikely that you would ever have complete control over everything that happens in a dream. Lucid dreams are often exciting, fun, and full of wonder and awe; they can be used to fulfil desires, to engage deliberately with your own psyche, or to have profound spiritual and mystical experiences. Many lucid dream techniques have been developed over the years. The method that has the best backing by scientific research combines two techniques: the Wake Bad to Bed method, and the Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams technique.
Wake Bad to Bed (WBTB) involves getting up several hours into your normal night of sleep, staying awake for a period of time, and then going back to sleep. Because you go back to sleep in the later portion of the night you are more likely to go straight back into REM sleep. Lucid dreams occur in REM sleep, so going straight from lucid, waking consciousness into REM sleep increases the chances of lucid dreaming.
The Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD) was developed by veteran lucid dream researcher Stephen LaBerge. It involves recalling a dream you have had, and then rehearsing becoming lucid in that dream.
A recent experiment found that even in individuals with no prior experience in lucid dreaming, combining WBTB and MILD has about a 50% success rate. I tried it myself and it worked like, er, a dream.