A lucid dream is not much different from a regular vivid dream, with one exception. In lucid dreams, the dreamer is fully aware they are sound asleep, having a dream and that none of it is real.
Now, there is evidence that lucid dreamers are particularly insightful people.
How does a person know they are caught up in dream world? The devil is in the details, or in this case, perhaps the dream is in the details.
Lucid dreamers become aware they are dreaming by spotting subtle clues within the dreams. For example, if a person is dreaming about being in their home, they may discover things that are unfamiliar or do not mesh with the usual landscape of their home. Perhaps the staircase is curved instead of straight. Maybe there are more windows in the kitchen than there should be.
Even if the landscape of the dream is unfamiliar, lucid dreamers can still recognize the things that do not make sense, be it flying pigs or snow in July. Although often the inconsistencies are more subtle, the dreamer picks up on the things that do not seem rational or logical.
Lucid dreamers are aware they are sleeping because they have a heightened sense of insight, according to a new research study.
Conducted by Dr. Patrick Bourke, Senior Lecturer at the Lincoln School of Psychology, and assisted by Hannah Shaw, now a graduate, this is the first study of its kind to show evidence of a link between insight and lucid dreaming.
Published in the American Psychological Association’s journal, Dreaming, the report entitled “Spontaneous Lucid Dreaming and Waking Insight,” explains how the researcher arrived at these findings.
To test the cognitive abilities required for a sleeping person to be aware that he or she is dreaming, waking tests of 68 participants between the ages of 18 to 25 were conducted. Some of the participants were frequent lucid dreamers, some occasional and some had never had a lucid dream.
A series of questions, 30 in all, were used as tests for measuring insight. Thinking about problems in a different manner is the key indicator of an insightful mind.
Comparing the responses of lucid and non-lucid dreamers, the results of the study found that lucid dreamers got 25% more of the problems correct than their non-lucid peers. Bourke feels that this ability to problem solve with insightful observations is also how lucid dreamers know they are still sleeping.
Mike Bundrant is author of the book Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage.
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