Dreaming is just part of life, but for people who have trouble achieving restful sleep, or people who regularly experience frightening disturbances like nightmares or night terrors, it can present a real problem.
Which is one reason people have been studying dreaming – particularly how to induce lucid dreaming, a state in which the dreamer is aware they are dreaming and can exercise some control over what they experience while they’re asleep.
There are some methods that experts suspect may work, but none have been verified as successful…until now.
This new technique was used by a group of study participants, and more than half of them reported being able to dream lucidly without any external intervention.
In this study, the 169 participants used a combination of methods. The first method, reality testing, gets people into the habit of regularly checking to make sure they are actually awake. The other, mnemonic induction of lucid dreams (MILD), has participants set alarms and wake after 5 hours, reciting “the next time I am dreaming, I will remember that I’m dreaming” as they fall back asleep.
The report in Dreaming states that 53% of people using a combination of the two techniques had a lucid dream during the trial. 17% of them had one each night.
It is posited that the ability to control dreams could help people heal traumas, control unhealthy behavior, and address bouts of PTSD.
Around 55% of people will experience a lucid dream during their life, but for most the experience is rare, and the person having the dream wakes quickly.
Have you ever had this experience? Did it scare you? Make you feel more in control? Tell us about it in the comments!