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Lucid Dreaming Could Make You More Self-Reflective!

February 03, 2015

Lucid Dreaming Could Make You More Self-Reflective!

Lucid dreaming is one of the holy grails of sleeping - the ability to consciously control your dreams while you are asleep, and now it seems that research is showing that not only is lucid dreaming a great way to take control of your sleeping life, but it could also help you to make your waking life even better as well!

Fresh research from the Max Planck Institute has indicated that the region of the brain associated with self-reflection seems to be larger in those individuals who are able to control their dreams. According to one of the researchers involved, this could indicate a connection between lucid dreaming and self-reflection. This greater insight could lead to better control of decision making and life choices. This thinking about thinking, or metacognition, could be a result of increased volume in the anterior prefrontal cortex which has been linked to controlling conscious cognitive processes, suggesting that these two states are linked through a shared neural network.

Lucid dreaming can often be highly realistic with the dreamers consciously being aware of the fact that they are dreaming and as such as able to take control of their dreams. Many people have indicated that they have been able to take control of their dreams momentarily, especially in a snooze state early in the morning. However for a dream to be truly lucid, it has to fulfill seven points as set out by Paul Tholey:

1. Awareness of the dream state (orientation);
2. Awareness of the capacity to make decisions;
3. Awareness of memory functions;
4. Awareness of identity;
5. Awareness of the dream environment;
6. Awareness of the meaning of the dream;
7. Awareness of concentration and focus (the subjective clarity of that state).

While lucid dreaming is still a poorly understood phenomenon, it has been fascinating mankind for a long time. Even the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle took note of it, stating that "often when one is asleep, there is something in consciousness which declares that what then presents itself is but a dream." However the study of lucid dreaming only really got underway thanks to a Dutch psychiatrist, Frederik van Eeden around the turn of the 20th century.

If you could control your dreams what would you dream about?

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