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.

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Have you ever felt tired, restless or groggy after what you thought was a full night’s rest in a new place? Or perhaps jumped out of a hotel bed fully-awake at the slightest disturbance?  A new study explains that this might be because your brain just pulled an all-nighter of guard duty — half of your brain that is.

The phenomenon is called interhemispheric asymmetry and it was first observed by scientists studying the first-night effect (FNE) in the sleeping patterns of  11 people over the course of two nights. FNE is something we have all experienced, when we have troubling sleeping well in a novel or unfamiliar environment, and until now, scientists have long considered this a normal and typical sleep disturbance.

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[DIGEST: NYTimes, NCBI, New Scientist, PR Newswire]

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can be a controversial diagnosis, particularly for children; one only has to meet 6 of 18 criteria to qualify as ADHD, which is characterized by the kinds of behaviors children often exhibit, such as hyperactivity, trouble organizing their time, distracted attention, and lack of focus. ADHD is also typically treated with potent and addictive stimulant drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall that some parents are not comfortable giving to children. Of course, adults are also diagnosed with the disorder, though the adult category of the illness didn’t even make it to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) until 1980. Since then, 6.4 million children ages 4 to 17 have been diagnosed, and approximately 10 million adults have also been diagnosed with ADHD in the United States.

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[DIGEST: New Scientist, Science Alert, Independent, HuffPo UK, NPR]

Scientists have finally confirmed what generations of college students and new parents have long suspected: sleep deprivation actually causes your brain to eat itself.

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Credit: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-39747807

[DIGEST: BBC, Refinery29, Self, Female Network, David Lloyd, Springer, Sleep Foundation, Forbes)

A fitness club in the United Kingdom (UK) has started what it hopes will be the latest luxury trend: napercise. While people may balk at first glance, scientific research indicates that mid-day naps may, in fact, be beneficial to our minds and bodies.

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