Lucid dreaming is a phenomenon that happens when you’re aware you’re dreaming, and even sometimes, you’re able to control the dream, according to Healthline.
These dreams can be pretty beneficial to an individual that suffers from nightmares, which have been plaguing sleepers throughout the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Nightmares can be harmful because of the impact they have on sleep quality and how it affects someone once they are awake, which is why lucid dreaming now might give those suffering nightmares and more a big boost in the morning.
A new paper published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition suggests lucid dreaming is associated with positive morning mood, according to co-author Michelle Carr, who penned a post for Psychology Today discussing her findings. Carr and other researchers were interested in exploring whether lucid dreaming — or dream lucidity — can help boost mood, and to see whether dream lucidity is linked to dreaming emotion content and subjective sleep quality.
Researchers had 20 participants complete “lucid dream induction techniques” while logging their experience in an online dream journal for the course of a week. Participants were asked to complete a 19-item questionnaire that focused on lucidity, while also rating aspects of sleep such as sleep quality, dream emotional content, and waking mood.
While there was no relationship with lucidity to sleep quality, researchers did find that higher lucidity was linked to a more positive dream experience and even boosted waking moods the following morning.
As Carr describes in her piece, the more participants exhibited lucidity, the more positive their dreams were and moods in the morning.
“While these results are promising, the next steps are to assess over longer periods of time whether lucid dreaming can have cumulative positive impacts on mood, and furthermore whether lucid dreaming may be associated with other outcomes such as improved overall well-being,” Carr wrote.
The link behind lucid dreaming and sleep quality is interesting. As Carr says, lucid dreaming could potentially impact sleep quality, both good and bad. But her study found that it does not “negatively impact sleep.”
If you’re trying to practice lucid dreaming, Healthline listed a few helpful hints that could potentially help. Reality testing is a form of mental training that increases “metacognition by training your mind to notice your own awareness.” Basically, you need to train yourself to control yourself.
The report suggested following these steps several times a day in order to practice reality testing:
Ask yourself, “Am I dreaming?”
Check your environment to confirm whether or not you are dreaming.
Notice your own consciousness and how you’re engaging with your surroundings.
Other methods include wake back to bed (WBTB), Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams, keeping a journal of your dreams, and wake-initiated lucid dreaming.