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How the Mind Manipulate Dreams

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The largest dream study to date has identified the best methods to help people control their dreams at night. This practice can help people in their daily lives, the author of this book explained. Lucid dreaming is an interesting phenomenon in which a person is aware that he is asleep and dreaming.

People who are good at dreaming are able to control the behavior and content of their dreams to varying degrees. But we can learn to dream lucidly and perfect our method? According to a new study recently published by Frontiers in Psychology, the answer is “yes”.

Research author Denholm Aspy, Ph.D. – currently a visiting scholar at the School of Psychology at the University of Adelaide in Australia – tested the effectiveness of five different techniques for achieving dreams. Aspy has been fascinated by nightmares for years, and in an interview for Medical News Today, he explained how the fascination came about.

“I’ve always liked dreaming. However, this is only at the beginning of my doctorate. in psychology and I started doing scientific research in this area,” he told us.

“I had an incredible dream the night before I started my PhD, and when I woke up, I was so inspired that I immediately decided to change my research topic from non-verbal communication to dreams,” said Aspy. Aspy said. To better understand what is happening, the researcher launched the largest study known to date on lucid dreaming: the International Lucid Dream Induction Study (ILDIS).

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The Two Most Effective Methods

For ILDIS, Aspy worked with hundreds of participants at various levels. First, he asked 1,618 volunteers to fill out a questionnaire before the study began.

“A total of 843 participants went on to complete the first week of the study, and 355 participants completed the second week,” he wrote in the study. The final analysis focused on a group consisting of 190 female participants, 162 male participants, and three participants who self-identified as ‘other’. The volunteers were between the ages of 18 and 84.

Of the volunteers in the latter group, 54.9% reported that they had used some form of lucid dream induction, although only six reported participating in other lucid dream studies. During the study, Aspy tested five different techniques or combinations of dreaming techniques. They were:

  • Reality Check: A person should check his physical environment several times a day to make sure it is real. If it becomes a habit, a person may end up doing reality checks on dreams and thus realize that they are dreaming.
  • Back to bed: This includes falling asleep, waking up after 5 am, and going back to sleep after a short nap. The goal is to send a person directly into REM sleep, the process associated with dreaming. In theory, this should make it easier for people to achieve lucid dreaming. Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (MILD): This method also involves waking up after five hours. However, people who experience MILD must be willing to recognize that they are dreaming when they return to sleep. They can do this by repeating the following sentence (or a similar sentence): “The next time I dream, I will remember that I am dreaming.”
  • Sense-Initiated Lucid Dreaming (SSILD): This process tends to wake up after 5 hours, except that the person focuses on sights, sounds, and physical sensations. They will focus on these stimuli for 20 seconds each before going back to sleep. A process that combines MILD and SSILD: After 5 hours, the person will focus on various stimuli in their environment, and repeat their intention to remember that they are dreaming the next time they fall asleep .


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“I wanted the most studied, most reliable, and very easy to learn systems. I then put them in many different combinations to learn everything possible about how to get the highest success rate,” the researcher told MNT.

Aspy found that of all the formulas, MILD and SSILD were also the most effective in inducing the dream state.

In his study, he found “no significant correlation” between other measures and the participants’ success in achieving dreams. However, he said that in terms of fact-finding, this may be due to the short study period.

Application of Lucid Dreaming

Although the mechanisms by which MILD and SSILD induce lucid dreaming remain unclear, in the study, the researcher stated that the success of SSILD can be explained. One possibility, writes the researcher, is that there is a repeated emphasis on visual, auditory, and other environmental stimuli. increases the awareness of the cognitive stimuli that remain in REM sleep, making it more likely that the user will realize that he is “dreaming.”

Aspy also argues that dreams can have useful applications for well-being, making them interesting to study and valuable experiences to have.

“One of the applications of dreaming is that it provides a way to have a vivid, realistic, and satisfying experience while dreaming, which is impossible for some. those who are awake. This can be due to a debilitating medical condition, but also in situations such as isolation or isolation when daily routines are disrupted and emotional stress is high.

Denholm Aspy, Ph.D.

The researcher also found that some people find it easier than others to dream. Often, he explained to us, these are the people who find it difficult to remember what they dreamed at night. The ability to enter lucid dreaming, Aspy told MNT, “is due to many different factors, which we are still discovering. Some of the factors that affect dream recall include how much time you sleep, the time and energy you have -put trying to remember your dreams (this can be improved in practice), and your food.

The researcher suggests that future studies should seek to uncover the mechanisms that make MILD and SSILD effective as techniques for dream induction. “This may open up avenues of potential remediation,” he wrote in the study.

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