My girlfriend tells me she can dream about having sex with me by telling herself before going to sleep, and that she even knows when it happens while she is dreaming. Is it possible to control dreams like this?
I can't tell you if your girlfriend is really doing this or not, but these things are not only possible, but teachable. You can often influence your dreams by giving yourself pre-sleep suggestions about what you want to dream about, or not dream about. Another popular method of influencing dreams is called lucid dreaming, in which you are aware you are dreaming while still asleep and in the dream. Some people actually experience this type of dreaming spontaneously. It is often possible to learn how to increase lucid dreaming, and thereby increase your capacity to direct the course of the dream while it is happening. Some things are easier than others to control, and indeed complete control is probably never possible.
Richard Wilkerson is general editor for The
Internet Dream E-zine, Electric Dreams, and director of DreamGate, the Internet
Communications and Dream Education Center. He writes the Cyberphile column for
the Association for the Study of Dreams Newsletter.