New Study Suggests Lucid Dreaming Is Linked To Better Mental Health

Ever heard of lucid dreaming? That’s when you’re fully aware that you are having a dream, and sometimes you can even control part of what happens in the dream. And according to new research, there may be a link between lucid dreaming and good mental health.

For a study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, researchers asked 187 students to take a survey about their lucid dreaming habits, psychological health, and any sleep problems they have. Some participants then kept a dream diary for two weeks.

According to the results of the study, students who had high-intensity lucid dreams — and had positive experiences during those dreams — had “fewer psychopathological tendencies” than students with low-intensity lucid dreams. That means that, on average, they were less likely to suffer from mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

[Editor’s Note: The information provided should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a sleep doctor or other medical expert if you have questions related to your own health.]

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The Potential Downsides Of Lucid Dreaming

The study’s results weren’t all positive. The findings suggested that students who didn’t naturally have lucid dreams, but tried to induce them, could actually worsen their mental health. Basically, researchers found that some of the techniques people use to help bring on lucid dreams — such as asking themselves if they were awake every few hours — can bring on dissociative feelings and increase sleep issues.

“Our research is pioneering in the field because we are the first to examine whether the attempt to initiate lucidity can cause damage,” researcher Nirit Soffer-Dudek told The Jerusalem Post. “Many people are tempted to try and reach an alternative state of mind by reaching lucidity, but it seems they may be paying a price. We know from hundreds of studies how much sleep is critical to functioning, health, and mood.”

RELATED: What These Common Dreams May Be Trying To Tell You

Obviously, there’s one major limitation to this study: The researchers asked students to self-report their own experiences, rather than collecting unbiased data in a sleep lab setting. However, the potential link between lucid dreaming and mental health is certainly interesting — and it opens the door for more definitive research down the line.

[Editor’s Note: The information provided should not be considered a substitute for professional advice. Please consult a sleep doctor or other medical expert if you have questions related to your own health.]

Featured image: l i g h t p o e t/Shutterstock

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Joe Auer

Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site.He likes things simple and take a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 100 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 4 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications.When he isn't testing sleep products, he enjoys working out, reading both fiction and non-fiction, and playing classical piano. He enjoys traveling as well, and not just to test out hotel mattresses!Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.

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