Some of us have heard of lucid dreaming, either through articles like these or through our own friends, but haven’t yet had the experience. For those of us who haven’t, it can be quite frustrating to read and hear the many fascinating stories surrounding this wonderous phenomenon while we struggle to create those experiences for ourselves.
The good news is there’s still hope. A research team led by Dr Denholm Aspy of the University of Adelaide, Australia, had 24 volunteers test out different lucid dream induction techniques and this is what they found:
- Reality testing, which is pretty self explanatory, is a process in which you scan your mean environment several times a day to check whether or not you’re dreaming. In building this habit you prepare yourself to perform the same action within a dream, at which point you become aware of your cerebral state and are, thus, able to take control.
- Wake back to bed. This involves waking up after five hours, staying awake for a short period of time and falling back to sleep, quickly putting yourself in a REM state, in which you’re more likely to dream. At this point, you have an opportunity to bring trick #1 into play.
- M.I.L.D. (Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams) is, in short, the combining of tricks #1 and #2. You wake up after five hours of sleep and, before falling into REM state, you repeat the phrase ‘the next time I’m dreaming, I will remember that I’m dreaming’ and imagine yourself in a lucid dream.
The volunteers tried a combination of these techniques for a week, before spending another ‘baseline’ week not practicing the techniques. The experiment revealed that employing these techniques to induce a lucid dream state results in a 17 percent success rate.
Remember, practice makes perfect. If you’re unable to achieve the lucid dream state on your first few attempts, that doesn’t mean you’re unable to lucid dream, that means you need more practice. It is a state that requires a lot of control and self awareness, both of which can be built and improved upon.
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