Australian researchers have found that a precise combination of actions will increase a person’s chance of controlling their dreams. The specific preparatory techniques will help a person experience lucid dreams, in which the dreamer is aware they’re dreaming while it’s still happening and enable the individual to control the dream experience.
University of Aldelaide investigators explain that although many techniques exist for inducing lucid dreams, previous studies have reported low success rates, preventing researchers from being able to study the potential benefits and applications of lucid dreaming.
Dr. Denholm Aspy’s research in Adelaide’s School of Psychology addressed this problem and developed more effective lucid dream induction techniques. The results from his studies have confirmed that people can increase their chances of having a lucid dream.
The research appears in the journal Dreaming.
The study involved three groups of participants and investigated the effectiveness of different techniques often proposed as a means to increase the chance of having a lucid dream.
- reality testing — which involves checking your environment several times a day to see whether or not you’re dreaming.
- 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.
- 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.
Among the group of 47 people who combined all three techniques, participants achieved a 17 percent success rate in having lucid dreams over the period of just one week. This achievement was significantly higher compared to a baseline week where they didn’t practice any techniques.
Moreover, among those who were able to go to sleep within the first five minutes of completing the MILD technique, the success rate of lucid dreaming was much higher, at almost 46 percent of attempts.
“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,” says Dr. Aspy.
“Importantly, those who reported success using the MILD technique were significantly less sleep deprived the next day, indicating that lucid dreaming did not have any negative effect on sleep quality,” he says.
“These results take us one step closer to developing highly effective lucid dream induction techniques that will allow us to study the many potential benefits of lucid dreaming, such as treatment for nightmares and improvement of physical skills and abilities through rehearsal in the lucid dream environment.”
Aspy is continuing his research into lucid dreams in an attempt to further increase the effectiveness of the technique. He’s conducting a new study, which is open to any English-speaking people aged 18 and over anywhere in the world.
For more information and to take part in the study, visit: http://www.luciddreamingaustralia.com
Source: University of Adelaide