We have all watched Inception, so we all know, well, nothing. It’s been seven years since the movie’s release and we are all still bemused about what actually happened. “A dream within a dream”? And what was with the spinning top at the end!? At least real life is a lot more simple… Until now.
Just as we all thought our dreams were safe from being controlled like a virtual reality video game, scientists have revealed a technique that has been proven to induce lucid dreaming. It’s time to throw away your dream encyclopedia, because it can’t help you anymore.
Lucid dreaming is the state in which the dreamer is aware they’re dreaming, meaning that they have some control over what they see and experience.
Once considered a myth, lucid dreaming was disregarded until scientists confirmed their existence. Now scientists are working towards making lucid dreaming attainable to every day humans.
Scientists have used a variety of methods in order to induce lucid dreaming, many of which would cause Freud to roll in his grave. A majority of these methods require complicated equipment to prompt your brain into a dreamlike state (it takes more than a few alcoholic beverages and a block of cheese before bed to do it the scientific way).
However, as technology advances at a rapid rate, it could be quite soon that you are able to dream lucidly in the comfort of your own home. Although, scientists aren’t developing the process for it to simply become routine in the everyday home.
Instead, the focus is for lucid dream therapy to become a treatment used by psychologists in order to help heal past traumas and treat controlling, unhealthy behavior.
A key figure in the development of lucid dreaming is Dr. Denholm Aspy from the University of Adelaide. Aspy has been actively testing the process in an attempt to make it a viable procedure. Aspy’s dream (ha!) is to “develop more effective techniques for learning lucid dreaming through experimental research.”
In one particular study, he used 169 participants to begin developing the technique.
One element of this study was for the participants to regularly carry out a “reality check”, in which were instructed to constantly check they actually were awake and not living inside their dream. Aspy concluded that this on its own was not powerful enough to prompt lucid dreaming, so he introduced another element.