The results of a new study show that people who possess the skill of lucid dreaming tend to be more insightful than others.
Lucid dreaming is a state when during sleep you are aware that you are dreaming. Lucid dreamers often use different clues in their dreams to induce this state of awareness, for example, unreal sensations like flying or bizarre things and happenings that don’t make sense. In other words, lucid dreamers have a kind of insight into the states they experience. Lucid dreams may occur spontaneously, but it is also possible to acquire and develop the skill of controlling one’s dreams with the help of different techniques.
Despite the increased research interest and great number of studies in this field, science still cannot give clear answer to what exactly happens in the brain during a lucid dreaming experience, or why some people have lucid dreams while others don’t.
Researchers of the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom interrogated 68 psychology students from 18 to 25 years old and asked them how often they had lucid dreams. In addition, the students were asked to solve puzzles that contained three seemingly unrelated words and to find one keyword to link them to each other. It was not an easy task, because, in order to find the keyword, one had to get rid of certain preconceptions and think outside the box. Thus, solving those puzzles certainly required more insight than people usually have.
As a result, the researchers found out that, on average, the participants who often had lucid dreams managed to solve 25% more of the puzzles than those who had never experienced lucid dreaming.
Thus, it seems that the insight lucid dreamers have during sleep affects their perception in the state of wakefulness too. As the researchers wrote in the paper they published in the journal Dreaming, “This suggests that the insight experienced during the dream state may relate to the same underlying cognition needed for insight in the waking state.”
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