What is it about?

Lucid dreaming is when you know that you are dreaming while still asleep. This controlled study shows that having lucid dreams can lead to reduced stress the next day, and is associated with enhanced self-esteem and life satisfaction.

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Why is it important?

Anecdotal and correlational evidence suggests that lucid dreaming can lead to personal growth, but this was the first study that tried to untangle the benefits of lucid dreaming from the practices used to induce lucid dreams. Many people who hope to have lucid dreams start keeping a dream journal and doing "reality checks" throughout the day to ask if they are awake or dreaming, a habit similar to mindfulness. If these habits alone can lead to personal growth, it is useful to explore how much of the benefit comes from lucid dreams themselves.

Perspectives

As a first dive into lucid dreaming research, this project inspired me to continue exploring the topic. I am especially excited by the finding that successfully lucid dreaming on a given night can reduce stress the next day.

Karen Konkoly
Northwestern University

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This page is a summary of: Can learning to lucid dream promote personal growth?, Dreaming, May 2019, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/drm0000101.
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