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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[DIGEST: Scientific American, Lancet Psychiatry, Huffington Post]

The first clinical trial to use psilocybin, the active compound in “magic mushrooms,” to treat major depression shows promise in a small but breakthrough study. Researchers from Imperial College London gave psilocybin to 12 people suffering from severe depression. One week after receiving an oral dose of the compound, each participant exhibited significant improvement in symptoms. The study further demonstrated psilocybin’s safety in a supervised setting.

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