For as long as I can remember (decades at least) I've always wanted to achieve a Lucid Dream state. You must have read about this. The idea is you're supposed to become aware that you are dreaming.
The degree to which this is possible is debatable. Some people claim to be able to command their dreamscapes, change the location and people present in their dreams. For others the experience is more prosaic, just having an awareness of being 'in a dream'
For me, the problem has always been that as soon as I'm aware that I'm dreaming I wake up. It's a Catch 22 situation in that the testing of whether I'm asleep or awake seems to be a process that is part of wakedness, which means that I can't possibly be asleep. Lucid dreaming to me then always seemed as elusive as catching a soap bubble.
A couple of life changes seemed to have helped me achieve the impossible. The house I'm living in now is much more conducive to sleep that anywhere I've slept before. The house is away from roads and I hear few exterior noises. My bedroom has no windows, so with absence of sound or noise, it is somewhat like being in a flotation tank!
I've also made a conscious effort to divorce myself from the normal routines of going to bed and waking up. As I work largely for myself at home and live alone, I realize this is something that is possible for me and actually quite a luxury. I can go to bed at 8:30pm or 3:30am and stay in bed pretty much as long as I choose. With some experimentation I've found that the optimum time for dreaming seems to occur between about 6-10am, irrespective of how much sleep I've had before then.
I've had increasingly encouraging periods of lucidity recently but the past two sleeps have been outstanding. I've had conversations where I've been asking questions and getting coherent replies which is really strange. My brain must be the author of both parts of the conversation but I'm convinced I only construct my questions.
The trick seems to be not to test whether I'm awake or asleep. This is easier said than done as the self-awareness is almost a test in itself when it occurs. It's a bit like asking someone not to think of a large pink elephant - they can't think of anything else! It is possible though - some sort of supression of the notion of the self is required. Without asking whether I'm a wake or asleep, the door opens and allows me to pass through.
My biggest concern now is that if I manage to achieve even greater control over my dreams, will I want to spend more time there than in reality. If I can create Utopia in my head, what is there to come back for, like the sleepers in the Arthur C Clarke story, the Lion of Comarre?