“Is lucid dreaming addictive or a form of escapism? If I start lucid dreaming, will I get obsessed or prefer the dream world over waking life? Can you have problems from lucid dreaming too much?”
Lots of neophyte and seasoned oneironauts show extreme passion for lucid dreaming. In fact, such high enthusiasm can serve you well in maintaining the motivation to make lucid dreaming an automatic habit. It’s normal to find lucid dreaming more pleasant and enticing than the waking world. But rather than developing a preference for one reality over the other, skillful oneironauts usually find that lucid dreaming enhances and connects them more fully with their waking lives as opposed to disconnecting them from it.
On the other hand, it is not unheard of for some people to prefer alternate realities to the waking reality as it is–be it with video gaming, internet addiction, food, drugs, alcohol, oversleeping, and so on. The concern isn’t so much with lucid dreaming itself, but how that person copes with their waking life or makes excessive use of alternative realities to avoid stressful or less preferable experiences.
For the majority of people, lucid dreaming at best makes up only a tiny proportion of their dreams. Thus, lucid dreaming too much or becoming addicted is not a significant concern. Keep in mind that sensationalist journalism about the dangers of lucid dreaming, or lucid dreams as addictive or as a form of escapism, tends to emphasize a rather myopic view of this perfectly natural state of consciousness. The only real way you can lucid dream ‘too much’ is if it becomes a problem. If you start to notice problems associated with lucid dreaming, such as sleeping abnormal amounts or ignoring important activities in waking life, it may be best to discontinue or talk to a professional about it. A trusted professional may help you identify and resolve what is making you fixate on lucid dreaming in the first place.
In any case, most oneironauts report that the initial excitement about lucid dreaming eventually tapers off to some degree. At that point, it’s typical to seek means of strengthening or deepening a lucid dreaming practice, or at the other end of the spectrum, to lose interest. Seeking new, creative ways to lucid dream and sharing those experiences with interested others can help so that it remains a rewarding part of a happy, well-balanced life.