Cognitive Benefits of Lucid Dreaming

Sleep and His Half Brother Death. John William Waterhouse, 1874.

Sleep and His Half Brother Death. John William Waterhouse, 1874.

I’ve only had a couple lucid dreams myself.

via Psyblog:

People who realise they are in a dream while they are dreaming — a lucid dream — have better problem-solving abilities, new research finds.

This may be because the ability to step outside a dream after noticing it doesn’t make sense reflects a higher level of insight.

Around 82% of people are thought to have experienced a lucid dream in their life, while the number experiencing a lucid dream at least once a month may be as high as 37%.

Flash of insight

The study, published in the journal Dreaming, recruited participants into three groups (Bourke & Shaw, 2014):

  • Frequent lucid dreamers: those who experienced a lucid dream more than once a month.
  • Occasional lucid dreamers: those who had had a lucid dream at least once in their lives.
  • Non-lucid dreamers: those who had never experienced a lucid dream.

All the participants were given a test of problem-solving which required a flash of insight.

Each problem was made up of three words which led to another word or phrase.

For example, one problem gives you the words ‘mile’, ‘sand’ and ‘age’.

What other single word can be combined with all three to create three new words or phrases?

Got it?

Give up?

The answer is ‘stone’, which can be combined with the three words to produce ‘milestone’, ‘sandstone’ and ‘Stone Age’.

The results showed that in comparison to those who had never had a lucid dream, the frequent lucid dreamers solved 25% more of these insight problems.

Continue reading.

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  • Conspiracy Carrot

    I lucid dream every night. Still have a ton of unsolved problems.

    • mannyfurious

      I lucid dream fairly regularly, but it’s mostly a terrible experience. Most of the time I’d prefer to wake up, but I can’t and I’m stuck in the dream until I fight it so hard that I end up in sleep paralysis mode feeling like I’m going to suffocate to death.

      Sometimes it’s cool though.

      • Conspiracy Carrot

        That rarely happens to me. Usually the realization that I’m dreaming is enough cause the fear to go away, then I can just roll with the dream or watch it like a movie.

  • frafri

    my favorite technique to lucid dream is to use my imagination. starting by remembering every detail of a place i know as much as I can. until I slowly become lucid. Another technique is to imagine you are pulling yourself out of your body with a rope :) I couldnt get that one to work though .

  • Charles Ayala

    Every single dream (that I remember the next day) is lucid. I can’t imagine dreaming and being unaware, that sounds frightening. I wish I could manipulate the dream better. I have been known in dreams to try and warn myself about events in the 3rd person, while maintaining first person perspective

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