Have you ever consciously changed the course of a dream? If so, then you are one of the 55 percent of people who have experienced a lucid dream. Lucid dreaming is rare. Only about 23 percent of individuals have a lucid dream once a month or more. Some of the benefits of lucid dreaming include a significant decrease in sleep deprivation. But they may also be beneficial for healing trauma, controlling unhealthy behavior and dealing with nightmares.
For the first time, techniques by Dr. Denholm Aspy, a visiting professor at the School of Psychology at the University of Adelaide in Australia, have been independently verified to induce lucid dreaming. During his week-long study on 169 participants, a record-breaking 53 percent of participants had lucid dreams, with 17 percent successful each night.
“Lucid dreams feel just as real as waking life most of the time,” said Aspy. “You move around and walk, all the senses are there.”
Aspy’s research concerned three induction techniques, none of which require any external equipment (except an alarm clock).
The first is called reality testing. In reality testing, participants check their environment several times a day to confirm whether they are dreaming.
The “wake back to bed” technique involves waking up after five hours, staying awake for about five minutes, and then going back to sleep. This increases the chance of entering a REM sleep period, in which dreams are more likely to occur.
The final technique is called mnemonic induction of lucid dreams, or MILD. MILD involves waking up after five hours of sleep, and developing the intention to remember that you are dreaming before going back to sleep. This is achieved by repeating the phrase: “The next time I’m dreaming, I will remember that I’m dreaming.”
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