I’m a lucid dream researcher – here’s how to train your brain to do it

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I’m a lucid dream researcher – here’s how to train your brain to do it 

Achilleas Pavlou

Quote:....Nearly a quarter of us report lucid dreaming once a month or more.

Two key changes in the brain appear responsible for these states. The frontotemporal cortex, which controls our higher cognitive abilities and is inhibited during normal dreams, shows higher activation during lucid dreams. Researchers also observe an increase in gamma waves, synchronised firing by groups of neurons at a frequency implicated with conscious awareness and executive functions such as voluntary action and decision-making.

Quote:But both the literature and my own experiences at the University of Essex’s sleep lab suggest that such external stimulation techniques need to be handled with care. If presented in the wrong way, stimuli will either not be incorporated into the dream – or worse, cause people to wake up. Some people are lighter sleepers than others, so the intensity of stimuli should be tailored to the specific threshold at which each individual wakes up. They should also be delivered in specific moments of REM sleep when the brain is most receptive. Current wearable technology does not take these factors into account, and research is yet to fully unravel how such stimuli can be effectively deployed.

Quote:Caution should also be exercised with other supplements and herbs that claim to increase dream lucidity – they are not backed by scientific evidence and, as with all drugs, there is the risk of allergic reactions and side-effects.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell

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