The Ultimate Guide to Lucid Dreaming Research

1. Lucid dreaming: Correspondence between dreamed and actual events in one subject during REM sleep

Fenwick, P., Schatzman, M., Worsely, A., Adams, J., Stone, S., & Baker, A. (1984)

Summary of Their Findings:

- “During lucid dreaming, a subject willed movements of his fingers, toes and feet, remembered tasks, and counted sensory stimuli. Dreamed speech was related to respiration. EMG activity corresponding to dreamed actions was greater in flexor than in extensor limb muscles and was never present in axial muscles.”


2. Lucid Dreaming Verified by Volitional Communication During REM Sleep

Stephen P. LaBerge, Lynn E. Nagel, William C. Dement, and Vincent P. Zarcone, Jr. (1981)

Summary of Their Findings:

- “The occurrence of lucid dreaming has been verified for 5 selected subjects signaled that they know they were dreaming while continuing to dream during unequivocal REM sleep. The signals consisted of particular dream actions having observable concomitants and were performed in accordance with pre-sleep agreement.”


3. Lucid Dreaming As A Learnable Skill: A Case Study

Stephen P. LaBerge (1980)

Summary of Their Findings:

- “The author was the subject in an investigation of the feasibility of learning to dream lucidly, i.e., while knowing that one is dreaming. During the 3-year study, the subject recorded a total of 389 lucid dreams and developed a mnemonic technique for the voluntary induction of lucid dreams (MILD). Without using any induction procedure, the subject reported less than 1 lucid dream per month. Using auto-suggestion resulted in a range of 1-13 lucid dreams per month, with at most 2 per night. MILD yielded 18 to 26 lucid dreams per month, with up to 4 per night.


4. Lucid Dreaming: A State of Consciousness with Features of Both Waking and Non-Lucid Dreaming

Ursula Voss, Romain Holzmann, Inka Tuin, and J. Allan Hobson (2009)

Summary of Their Findings:

- “The unusual combination of hallucinatory dream activity and wake-like reflective awareness and agentive control experienced in lucid dreams is paralleled by significant changes in electrophysiology.”

- “Results show lucid dreaming to have REM-like power in frequency bands δ and θ, and higher-than-REM activity in the γ band, the between-states-difference peaking around 40 Hz.”

- “Waking is characterized by high coherence in α, and lucid dreaming by increased δ and θ band coherence.”

- “Lucid dreaming constitutes a hybrid state of consciousness with definable and measurable differences from waking and from REM sleep, particularly in frontal areas.”


5. Lucid dreaming: Physiological correlates of consciousness during REM sleep

LaBerge, Stephen; Levitan, Lynne; Dement, William C. (1986)

Summary of Their Findings:

- “Reports of lucid dreaming (i.e., dreaming while being conscious that one is dreaming) were verified for 13 Ss (aged 21–51 yrs) who signaled by means of voluntary eye-movements that they knew they were dreaming while continuing to dream during REM sleep.”

- “Physiological analysis of the resulting 76 signal-verified lucid dreams (SVLDs) revealed that elevated levels of automatic nervous system activity reliably occurred both during and 30 sec preceding the onset of SVLDs, implicating physiological activation as a necessary condition for reflective consciousness during REM dreaming.”

- “It is concluded that the ability of proficient lucid dreamers to deliberately perform dream actions in accordance with presleep agreement makes possible determination of psychophysiological correspondence during REM dreaming.”


6. Lucid dreaming: associations with internal locus of control, need for cognition and creativity

Blagrove, M., & Hartnell, S. J. (2000)

Summary of Their Findings:

- “Individuals who report lucid dreaming are more likely to believe in internal locus of control of waking life events.”

- People who had high scores on their test were, “More likely to achieve self-reflection and volitional control while dreaming because they are proficient at the management of waking cognition and emotion.”

- “Lucid dreamers have significantly higher need for cognition and self-assessed creativity than non-lucid dreamers.”


7.  Multiple Processes in Prospective Memory Retrieval: Factors Determining Monitoring Versus Spontaneous Retrieval

Einstein, G. O., McDaniel, M. A., Thomas, R., Mayfield, S., Shank, H., Morrisette, N., & Breneiser, J. (2005)

Summary of Their Findings:

- People can “link intended actions to eliciting cues and take the form of “When situation x arises, I will perform y.” This experiment could experimentally validate the practice of using certain cues throughout your day to do a reality check.

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