Dreaming about falling off an edge or being unable to run away can be very frustrating. Wouldn’t it be interesting if you could control your own dreams and prevent such things from happening? Researchers from the University of Adelaide developed a technique that makes it possible to have “lucid dreams”, where the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming while the dream is taking place.
Lucid dreaming was considered a myth until 1975 when the phenomenon was confirmed empirically;  we have now also discovered techniques to increase the chances that people have lucid dreams. However, these techniques are still relatively unreliable and require advanced equipment . This is unfortunate because lucid dreaming has a wide range of potential applications, such as treating traumas and controlling unhealthy behavior .
Dr. Denholm Aspy from the University of Adelaide suggested that combining techniques may bring greater results. For this reason, Aspy conducted an experiment where he instructed 169 participants in three techniques developed to induce lucid dreaming:
- Reality testing: this involves many steps, including examining one’s surroundings several times through the day, questioning if one is awake or dreaming, and finally executing a reliable reality test to determine whether one is awake or dreaming . This technique is designed to increase the self-awareness during the day and penetrate the dreams by night.
- Wake back to bed (WBTB): this technique involves fully waking up after several hours of sleep (five to six hours), i.e. one has to stay awake for a period of time (from 10 min to more than one hour) before going back to sleep. WBTB helps increasing mental alertness and provides an ideal time to practice the MILD technique ;
- Mnemonic induction of lucid dreams (MILD): immediately before going to sleep and while lying in bed, the practitioner repeats the phrase: “next time I’m dreaming, I will remember that I’m dreaming” (or some variation) while imagining himself having a lucid dream. This technique makes use of the prospective memory, which is the capacity of remembering to perform planned actions in the future .
The results: 53% of the participants had a lucid dream during the trial period, with 17% successful each night .
Aspy reported relying only on “reality testing” doesn’t produce any benefits. In contrast, using the three techniques helped obtain very impressive results. Aspy told IFLscience that “this exceeds any previous study conducted without interventions such as masks that shine lights in people’s eyes on detecting REM sleep” .
Meryem, Consultante, Leyton france.
 ASPY, Denholm J., DELFABBRO, Paul, PROEVE, Michael, et al. Reality testing and the mnemonic induction of lucid dreams: Findings from the national Australian lucid dream induction study. Dreaming, 2017, vol. 27, no 3, p. 206.