Dreams and everything related to them has long been a world that arouses great interest from both the scientific community and the general public. The fact that our nervous system is able to create fictional environments and fictional narratives with almost no stimuli from the outside world has made us look for meaning in dreams, try to relate them to our vital goals, and even ask ourselves questions. have nothing to do with alternate realities.
However, there is another factor that makes it clear that the potential interest we may have in dream study. It is about the existence of lucid dreams.
What are lucid dreams?
Lucid dreams are those dreams in which we are aware that what we are living is not real. The person who experiences lucid dreams, in short, is immersed in dreamlike situations where hallucinations mingle with the awareness of being dreaming.
In addition, this fact usually leads to the appearance of the possibility of modifying the dream even livedSomething that would turn the dream scene into a sort of magical playground in which desires turn into reality. This, of course, makes a lot of people want to experience lucid dreams, even though achieving it is not easy.
The onironáutica community
Lucid dreams they are statistically rare, And most people don’t experience it even on a monthly basis, although there are a few sleepers who experience these episodes relatively frequently, several times a week.
However, there are a lot of people who have come to want so much to regularly experience lucid dreams that have formed all kinds of virtual communities, forums and books in which onironauts, as so-called people capable of living these lucid dreams. dreams, describe tips and recommendations for practicing certain techniques which theoretically serve to increase the probability of being aware of what is happening in the dream world.
So to have lucid dreams, just follow these tips? Not so fast. The problem with the recommendations typically given in onironaut books and forums is that the vast majority of them focus on dealing with subjective states of consciousness, which is difficult to achieve when dreaming or when dreaming. kingdom of Morpheus.
Unfortunately, the very gateway to the dream world is where the techniques learned during the day rest and the plans to be followed during the following hours.
Speak the language of the brain
Just because it is difficult to force lucid dreams to appear does not mean that it is impossible. recently some research in neuroscience has shown that there is the possibility of generating such dreams no longer by internal dialogue and vital philosophy, but by directly modifying the functioning of the brain.
For example, inducing the appearance of gamma brain waves (specifically between 25 and 40 Hz) in certain frontal regions of the brain during the REM phase has been shown to greatly increase the chances of having lucid sleep.
Of course, not all of us have the ability to use lab machines to alter our brain wave frequencies while we sleep on a daily basis, but this study served as a precedent to bolster the hypothesis that it can materially modify the functioning of the nervous system to have this kind of dreams. From there it was studied which material changes are capable of increasing these probabilities … and today we may have the answer.
Lucid dreams with the alarm clock
Last year’s research suggests that a good way to encourage lucid dreaming might be to briefly interrupting sleep to go back to sleep (or almost sleep) immediately after. Therefore, a trick would be to use the option to postpone the alarm clock to ring again a few minutes later.
The research which leads us to this possible solution does not however offer us a definitive answer, because it is not an experiment but the crossing of data of surveys carried out with several people, some of whom regularly live dreams. This means that people who are more likely to be aware of what is going on during their dream experiences tend to use the alarm delay button more, but for the moment we do not know if it is this simple trick that makes these dreams appear. As always, correlation does not imply causation.
However, the results are promising and leave the door open for future testing in an experimental lab. In a few months, we might have the final answer all onironauts are looking for, but right now the way to test yourself with the alarm clock is open to anyone who wants to try it out.
- Smith, B. and Blagrove, M. (2015). Frequency of lucid dreams and use of the snooze button on the alarm button. Dream, 25 (4), pages 291 to 299.
- Voss, U., Holzmann, R., Hobson, A., Paulus, W., Koppehele-Gossel, J., Klimke, A. and Nitsche MA (2014). Induction of self-awareness in dreams by weak frontal stimulation of gamma activity. Natural Neuroscience, 17 (6), pages 810-812.