I loved this radio piece on lucid dreaming. I’ve been a lucid dreamer since about age 8, although I will sometimes go for months without being able to properly control my dreams.
Like others mentioned in this, I used to suffer with terrible nightmares. I sucked my thumb until I was at least <mumble mumble> years old, and so when I went to sleep I’d tell myself over and over that if I had a nightmare, all I’d have to do is bite down and the pain would wake me up. So my first experience of lucid dreaming was desperately biting down while zombies chased me across my school playground. (Zombies… It was always zombies. This is also possibly where my love of zombies comes from.)
I’m often aware I’m dreaming, but am not always able to control the dreams, in a fully lucid sense. And I have learned to wake myself up out of a dream at will. All of which means I now rarely have nightmares.