Would you like to take control of your dreams? Scientists say it’s possible and they have figured out how to do it.
Lucid dreaming was long considered a myth, but science has confirmed lucid dreams exist.
Lucid dreaming is a hybrid state between sleeping and being awake. During lucid dreaming you can take control of your dreams and perform various actions.
Many people have experienced lucid dreaming, but scientists have long wondered what is happening inside the brain of a lucid dreamer. What was known from a scientific point of view, was the fact that lucid dreamers are people who can become aware of dreaming during sleep, but the process that caused this state was unknown.
For the first time ever, scientists have now discovered a unique technique to induce lucid dreaming. Researchers have figured out three key ways to help us control our dreams and this means we can all experience lucid dreaming, if we wish to.
Psychologist Denholm Aspy and his team from the University of Adelaide have conducted a lucid dreaming experiment with 47 volunteers who were divided into three groups.
During the study Aspy observed three unique lucid dreaming induction techniques: reality testing, wake back to bed, and mnemonic induction of lucid dreams (MILD).
1. Reality testing – which involves checking your environment several times a day to see whether or not you’re dreaming.
2. Wake back to bed – waking up after five hours, staying awake for a short period, then going back to sleep in order to enter a REM sleep period, in which dreams are more likely to occur.
3. MILD (mnemonic induction of lucid dreams) – which involves waking up after five hours of sleep and then developing the intention to remember that you are dreaming before returning to sleep, by repeating the phrase: “The next time I’m dreaming, I will remember that I’m dreaming.” You also imagine yourself in a lucid dream.
The study revealed that the most effective technique to achieve lucid dreaming was MILD.
Participants who fell asleep within five minutes of completing MILD had lucid dreams 46 percent of the time. Those who tried other techniques or a mix thereof only had lucid dreams 17 percent of the time.
“The MILD technique works on what we call ‘prospective memory’ – that is, your ability to remember to do things in the future. By repeating a phrase that you will remember you’re dreaming, it forms an intention in your mind that you will, in fact, remember that you are dreaming, leading to a lucid dream,” Aspy said.
Scientists are eager to learn more about lucid dreaming because it can be a potential tool for healing traumas and controlling unhealthy behavior.
“Nightmares is one of the key aspects of post-traumatic stress disorder so being able to control nightmares and use lucid dreams to change the nightmare this could be very helpful for sufferers of PTSD,” Aspy said