Have you ever heard of lucid dreams ? Lucid dreams (also known as conscious dreams) are those dreams we have in which we are aware that nothing we are experiencing is really happening, since we know we are asleep.
There are several levels at which an individual can experience lucid dreaming. At the lowest level, the person notices that he or she is dreaming, but fails to recognize the meaning of what is happening. Those who manage to have a higher degree of lucidity of the dream are fully aware of what is happening and can control the dream .
Lucid dreaming and real-world problem solving
The world of dreams can be either a wonderful place or a hostile terrain for spending the night. But if you control your sleep, it can become something else: it can help you hone those cognitive skills you use when you’re awake and help you solve problems in the real world. A recent study from the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom shows this.
The research was conducted by Dr. Patrick Bourke, a professor at Lincoln University’s School of Psychology, and his student Hannah Shaw. This is the first study to link lucid dreaming with insight.
Lucid dreams, self-confidence and satisfaction with life
Other studies on lucid dreaming are aimed at demonstrating the benefit of this type of sleep on well-being and mental health in general.
According to Ursula Voss, a sleep researcher at the University of Bonn in Germany, people who experience lucid dreams tend to wake up “with a sense of euphoria, because they really feel better and with a feeling of having achieved something in their dreams.
According to another study conducted by Evelyn Doll of the Medical University of Vienna, subjects in her research who had experienced lucid dreams scored higher on issues related to self-confidence, tended to be more assertive, and showed greater well-being. In this sample, they compared scores from a questionnaire administered to 27 frequent lucid dreamers and 33 people who had rarely experienced lucid dreaming.
Lucid Dreams to Overcome Post Traumatic Stress
Following the 2008 Gaza conflict between Israeli and Palestinian forces, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel demonstrated that lucid dreaming is effective in overcoming PTSD. Nirit Soffer-Dudek and his collaborators carried out the research with 223 women living in the area affected by the military offensive. The results indicated that the subjects who had been exposed to higher levels of violence showed the highest levels of distress, a state that was less severe in those who claimed to be able to experience lucid dreaming.
Lucid Dreams and Imagination Training
This study indicates that the same brain areas are used in lucid dreams as in imagination training. Therefore, in addition to the benefits we have shown in the previous lines, there are other positive effects:
- Increases concentration and accuracy
- Reinforces memory
- Stimulates creativity
- Helps combat stress and anxiety
To read more about mental training through imagination , we recommend this article: “Mental Training through Imagination: Sport Psychology”.