Article

Is there a relation among REM sleep dissociated phenomena, like lucid dreaming, sleep paralysis, out-of-body experiences, and false awakening?

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

During REM sleep we normally experience dreams. However, there are other less common REM sleep phenomena, like lucid dreaming (LD), false awakening (FA), sleep paralysis (SP), and out of body experiences (OBE). LD occurs when one is conscious during dreaming, and FA occurs when one is dreaming but believes that has woken up. SP is characterized by skeletal muscle atonia and occurs mainly during awakening or falling asleep. OBE is the subjective sensation of ‘leaving the physical body’. Since all these phenomena happen during REM sleep, their frequency is probably connected. The goal of this research is to explore how these phenomena are connected to each other in terms of frequency. We surveyed 974 people on the streets of Moscow and found significant correlations between the phenomena. Of those surveyed, 88% have experienced at least one of the phenomena of interest (i.e., LD, OBE, FA, and SP), which appeared to be closely correlated to each other. Furthermore, 43% of respondents stated that they often experience at least one of these phenomena. We found that the recurrence of these phenomena correlated with sleep duration and dream recall frequency. The results of the survey provide better understanding of the nature of REM sleep dissociative phenomena. Cross-correlations between REM sleep dissociated phenomena, like lucid dreaming, sleep paralysis, out-of-body experiences, and false awakening, revealed by a survey

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... False awakenings were suggested to be a hyper-aroused REM sleep state [48], as recently evidenced by spectral EEG analysis [49]. Moreover, false awakenings frequently occur in association with lucid dreams [48,[50][51][52][53] and sleep paralysis [50,53] both of which have also been proposed to be highly aroused, hybrid states with features of both REM sleep and waking [54,55]. ...
... False awakenings were suggested to be a hyper-aroused REM sleep state [48], as recently evidenced by spectral EEG analysis [49]. Moreover, false awakenings frequently occur in association with lucid dreams [48,[50][51][52][53] and sleep paralysis [50,53] both of which have also been proposed to be highly aroused, hybrid states with features of both REM sleep and waking [54,55]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The phenomenon of dreaming about the laboratory when participating in a sleep study is common. The content of such dreams draws upon episodic memory fragments of the participant’s lab experience, generally, experimenters, electrodes, the lab setting, and experimental tasks. However, as common as such dreams are, they have rarely been given a thorough quantitative or qualitative treatment. Here we assessed 528 dreams (N = 343 participants) collected in a Montreal sleep lab to 1) evaluate state and trait factors related to such dreams, and 2) investigate the phenomenology of lab incorporations using a new scoring system. Lab incorporations occurred in over a third (35.8%) of all dreams and were especially likely to occur in REM sleep (44.2%) or from morning naps (48.4%). They tended to be related to higher depression scores, but not to sex, nightmare-proneness or anxiety. Common themes associated with lab incorporation were: Meta-dreaming , including lucid dreams and false awakenings (40.7%), Sensory incorporations (27%), Wayfinding to, from or within the lab (24.3%), Sleep as performance (19.6%), Friends/Family in the lab (15.9%) and Being an object of observation (12.2%). Finally, 31.7% of the lab incorporation dreams included relative projections into a near future (e.g., the experiment having been completed), but very few projections into the past (2.6%). Results clarify sleep stage and sleep timing factors associated with dreamed lab incorporations. Phenomenological findings further reveal both the typical and unique ways in which lab memory elements are incorporated de novo into dreaming. Identified themes point to frequent social and skillful dream scenarios that entail monitoring of one’s current state (in the lab) and projection of the self into dream environments elaborated around local space and time. The findings have implications for understanding fundamental dream formation mechanisms but also for appreciating both the advantages and methodological pitfalls of conducting laboratory-based dream collection.
... other type of dissociative experience. In addition to sleep paralysis, associations of lucid dreaming with further dissociative experiences, such as out-of-body experiences (OBEs) and false awakenings have been also observed in different studies (e.g., Alvarado & Zingrone, 2007;Blackmore, 1984;Buzzi, 2019;Kohr, 1980;Raduga et al., 2020). These experiences can overlap to a certain degree and a person may transition from one to another, as they all are continuous with normal experience and provide a realistic albeit hallucinatory replica of the physical world (Green, 1990). ...
... Notably, the higher proportion of deliberately induced versus spontaneous lucid dreams was also linked to a greater mental well-being (Table 1), implicating that in lucid dreamers the active engagement with lucid dream induction techniques does not appear to be detrimental to mental health (cf. Aviram & Soffer-Dudek, 2018) Further, lucid dreams were associated with all other sleep-related experiences: dream recall frequency, nightmare frequency, lucid nightmare frequency, false awakening frequency, sleep paralysis frequency, and OBE frequency (Table 1), concurring with previous data (Alvarado & Zingrone, 2007;Buzzi, 2019;Denis & Poerio, 2017;Kohr, 1980;Raduga et al., 2020;Stumbrys et al., 2014). The frequency of all these experiences was interlinked, suggesting a certain common core and supporting Green's (1990) concept of metachoric experiences-experiences in which the whole perceptual environment is replaced by a hallucinatory replica of the physical one. ...
Article
Lucid dreams—dreams in which the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming—are generally positive and empowering experiences, for which a variety of benefits have been demonstrated, for example, alleviating nightmares and insomnia, improving motor skills, contributing to creativity and personal growth. Recently, however, certain concerns were raised about the possible risks of lucid dreaming on sleep and health. This study aimed to explore three potential domains of adverse effects—sleep quality, dissociation, and mental well-being—as well as to capture any self-observed negative consequences of lucid dreams within an online sample (N = 489) in which the majority of respondents (94%) were lucid dreamers. According to the results, lucid dream frequency was not associated with poorer sleep quality or with greater dissociation but was linked to greater mental well-being. Moreover, most of the lucid dreams were reported to be emotionally positive experiences and the majority of lucid dreamers did not ascribe any negative consequences to lucid dreaming. Thus, at least from the present findings, the experience of lucid dreaming does not seem to exert evident detrimental effects, although a small proportion of lucid dreams (about 10%) were negatively toned. However, to establish causal relationships future longitudinal studies are needed.
... These states are grouped under the term phase state (PS) 55,56 or dissociated REM state 57 . A survey revealed that 88% of people have experienced at least one phase state; 43% of people experience one or more of them often 58 . ...
Article
Full-text available
Objective. Many people have dreams nightly, and some maintain consciousness during dreams. Such dreams are referred to as lucid dreams (LD). During dreams, our speech correlates with facial muscle activity, which is hard to decode, but LD could solve this problem. The primary hypothesis of this study was that the facial muscles’ electric activity during LD corresponds to specific sounds. Understanding this connection could help decode dream speech in the future. Method. Under laboratory conditions, four LD practitioners were asked to say ‘I love you,’ a phrase with a distinctive electromyographic (EMG) signature. They did this before falling asleep and then again after becoming conscious during a dream. Their facial and neck EMG was recorded in four areas. Results. All four volunteers accomplished the goal at least once. The patterns associated with the ‘I love you’ phrase were observed in most cases, both during wakefulness and LD. Specifically, ‘I’ triggered distinctive phasic activity in the submentalis area most of the time, while ‘you’ did the same in the orbicularis oris. Discussion. This study highlights the possibility of detecting only specific and highly EMG distinctive phrases from dreams because vocalization also involves a tong and vocal apparatus. The most interesting consequence of the present results is that they indicate the possibility of creating an artificial EMG language that could be instantly decoded in reality and used during LD.
... It is not surprising that SP experiences are assumed by many Western scientists to be one of the sources and causes of human belief in ghosts because of these special properties (e.g., Hufford, 2005). SP are also closely linked to out-of-body experiences (Blackmore, 1999;Hufford, 2005;Raduga et al., 2020), lucid dreams (Denis & Poerio, 2016), and encounters with aliens (Blackmore, 1998;Clancy, 2005) and other entities (Sharpless & Doghramji, 2015). Thus, there is a particularly close connection between SP, extraordinary dreams (including lucid dreams and false awakenings), out-of-body experiences, sleep-related hallucinations, and alien abduction experiences. ...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated sleep paralysis (SP) with an online questionnaire. Our sample consisted of 380 participants who experienced at least one SP. In this paper, we present the relation of SP to extraordinary experiences, paranormal beliefs , and absorption. We used a German questionnaire, Fragebogen zur Phänomenologie außergewöhnlicher Erfahrungen (PAGE-R-II), to assess the extent to which people with SP have had other extraordinary experiences, a German translation of the Belief in the Supernatural Scale (BitSS), and a German version of the Tellegen Absorption Scale (TAS). Our hypotheses regarding a positive correlation between the frequency of SP and certain forms of extraordinary experiences, paranomal/ supernatural beliefs, and absorption were only partially confirmed. We found an expected significant correlation between the frequency of SP and the expression on the PAGE dimensions "Dissociation" and "External," but not between SP frequency and the other scales. The group (55%) reporting paranormal experiences during SP had highly significant higher mean scores on the PAGE, BitSS, and TAS. There were also significant correlations between the applied scales and specific hallucinatory perceptions and emotions, which leads us to believe that two main types of experiencing SP may exist: one mainly connected with typical negative emotions and a more external focus of experience, and another characterized by positive emotions and more internally experienced perceptions. This hypothesis requires further investigations. Highlights • The frequency of sleep paralysis (SP) episodes is highly correlated with the frequency of other specific extraordinary experiences outside of SP.
... During preliminary PACM testing (a few weeks before the current study was performed), one of the first EMG signals from the submentalis area in REM sleep was recorded during sleep paralysis. LDs, sleep paralysis, out-of-body experiences, and false awakenings are very similar [28], and so using PACM could also improve research on all phase states phenomena (i.e., states that involve REM sleep and consciousness). Although PAEM can apparently be used to detect all these states as well, using PACM is a more convenient method. ...
Article
Lucid dreams (LDs) occur when people become aware that they are dreaming. This phenomenon has a wide range of possible applications from the perspectives of psychology, training physical movements, and controlling computers while asleep, among others. However, research on LDs might lack efficiency because the standard LD verification protocol uses polysomnography (PSG), which requires an expensive apparatus and skilled staff. The standard protocol also may reduce LD-induction efficiency. The current study examines whether humans can send phasic signals through submentalis electromyography (EMG) during muscle atonia via pre-agreed chin movements (PACM). This ability would manifest both REM sleep and consciousness, which are the main features of LDs. In laboratory conditions volunteers were instructed to open their jaws three times while in an LD right after the standard verification protocol to achieve the research goal. Results: 4 of 5 volunteers proved to be in an LD using the standard protocol, and then all of them made PACM. The outcomes show that dream signals cannot be blocked in the submentalis area during muscle atonia. Also, this finding can be considered to develop a simplified, reliable LD protocol that needs only one EMG sensor. The cost of this protocol could be only a small percentage of the current protocol, making it more convenient for researchers and volunteers. It can also be used remotely by inbuilt in wearable gadgets. Considering PACM could speed up LD research and provide many discoveries and new opportunities. Also, it can be used in sleep paralysis studies.
... Most people, either involuntarily or intentionally, experience lucid dreams (LDs), which are dreams in which the dreamer becomes conscious during a dream scene and can change the plot of the dream (LaBerge, 1985). In a survey of 974 participants, 71% reported having experienced at least one LD at some point in their life, and 23% reported having LDs often (Raduga, Kuyava, & Sevcenko, 2020). This phenomenon happens almost exclusively during REM sleep, but LDs differ from common dreams in that they are characterized by increased activity in the brain's prefrontal zones in the 40-Hz band (Voss et al., 2009). ...
Article
Full-text available
Most people experience lucid dreams (LDs), which are dreams in which the dreamer is conscious and able to perceive vivid perceptions. There are many ways to induce LDs, but their levels of efficiency are far from satisfactory. In this study, we analyze the efficiency of an LD method that was tested in commercial events with hundreds of groups over 12 years. The main feature of the method is that hypnopompic hallucinations are induced that allow an LD plot to start directly from the bedroom upon awakening, which makes the LD feel like an out-of-body experience. This method originated from the Tibetan dream yoga tradition and has been heavily modified according to a strict algorithm of specific actions. Data from 449 people, mostly newbies, who tried this method over the course of two nights indicated that 484 attempts were successful. This method might help ordinary LD enthusiasts to get efficient practice, as well as more research opportunities for studying lucid dreaming and the human brain.
Article
Full-text available
Sleep paralysis (SP) is a dissociative state that occurs mainly during awakening. SP is characterized by altered motor, perceptual, emotional and cognitive functions, such as inability to perform voluntary movements, visual hallucinations, feelings of chest pressure, delusions about a frightening presence and, in some cases, fear of impending death. Most people experience SP rarely, but typically when sleeping in supine position; however, SP is considered a disease (parasomnia) when recurrent and/or associated to emotional burden. Interestingly, throughout human history, different peoples interpreted SP under a supernatural view. For example, Canadian Eskimos attribute SP to spells of shamans, who hinder the ability to move, and provoke hallucinations of a shapeless presence. In the Japanese tradition, SP is due to a vengeful spirit who suffocates his enemies while sleeping. In Nigerian culture, a female demon attacks during dreaming and provokes paralysis. A modern manifestation of SP is the report of “alien abductions”, experienced as inability to move during awakening associated with visual hallucinations of aliens. In all, SP is a significant example of how a specific biological phenomenon can be interpreted and shaped by different cultural contexts. In order to further explore the ethnopsychology of SP, in this review we present the “Pisadeira”, a character of Brazilian folklore originated in the country’s Southeast, but also found in other regions with variant names. Pisadeira is described as a crone with long fingernails who lurks on roofs at night and tramples on the chest of those who sleep on a full stomach with the belly up. This legend is mentioned in many anthropological accounts; however, we found no comprehensive reference on the Pisadeira from the perspective of sleep science. Here, we aim to fill this gap. We first review the neuropsychological aspects of SP, and then present the folk tale of the Pisadeira. Finally, we summarize the many historical and artistic manifestations of SP in different cultures, emphasizing the similarities and differences with the Pisadeira.
Poster
Full-text available
Introduction - Lucid dreaming (LD) is a mental state in which the subject is aware of being dreaming and may control the oneiric content. LD is objectively confirmed by series of pre-arranged ocular movements (PAOM) performed by the dreamer to indicate lucidity. Most studies observed that LD correlates with specific neurophysiological characteristics, mainly gamma power increasing over frontal regions during rapid-eye-movement sleep (REMS). However, some studies observed that LD may also happen during non-REMS stages (N1 and N2), and it is still not known whether there are specific neurophysiological changes in these LD during non-REMS. Objective - To investigate the neurophysiology of LD during non-REMS. Methods - Two subjects performed the PAOM and reported LD: the first case happened in a visually scored N1 episode, and the second case during a visually scored N2 episode. We used topographic mapping and spectrogram to analyze the electroencephalographic signals of LD. Results - In the first case we observed increasing in theta and decreasing in alpha power, which confirms it is a N1 episode. The second case presented an increasing in both delta and sigma oscillations, due to K-complex and spindles, respectively, which confirms it is a N2 episode. However, we observed no significant spectral changes (such as frontal gamma increasing) during these N1 and N2 episodes with LD. Conclusion - Our preliminary data confirms that LD happens also during N1 and N2, thus LD is not an exclusively REMS phenomenon; yet, the lack of LD spectral changes we observed suggest that the LD features found in other studies are specific for REMS. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.slsci.2016.02.093
Article
Full-text available
Motor practice in lucid dreams is a form of mental rehearsal where the dreamer can consciously rehearse motor skills in the dream state while being physically asleep. A previous pilot study showed that practice in lucid dreams can improve subsequent performance. This study aimed to replicate those findings with a different task (finger-tapping) and compare the effectiveness of lucid dream practice (LDP) not only to physical but also to mental practice (MP) in wakefulness. An online experiment was completed by 68 participants within four groups: LDP group, MP group, physical practice (PP) group and control (no practice) group. Pre-test was accomplished in the evening, post-test in the next morning, while the practice was done during the night. All three practice groups significantly improved their performance from pre-test to post-test, but no significant improvements were observed for the control group. Subjective sleep quality was not affected by night practice. This study thus corroborates the previous findings that practice in lucid dreams is effective in improving performance. Its effects seem to be similar to actual PP and MP in wakefulness. Future studies should establish reliable techniques for lucid dream induction and verify the effects of LDP in sleep laboratory conditions.
Article
Full-text available
The occurrence of lucid dreaming (dreaming while being conscious that one is dreaming) has been verified for 5 selected subjects who signaled that they knew they were dreaming while continuing to dream during unequivocal REM sleep. The signals consisted of particular dream actions having observable concomitants and were performed in accordance with pre-sleep agreement. The ability of proficient lucid dreamers to signal in this manner makes possible a new approach to dream research--such subjects, while lucid, could carry out diverse dream experiments marking the exact time of particular dream events, allowing derivation of of precise psychophysiological correlations and methodical testing of hypotheses.
Article
Full-text available
Studied the association between lucidity and flying dreams in 1,910 dreams from 191 Ss. Flying dreams were likelier to be reported by Ss reporting lucid dreams or any of 3 related categories: prelucid dreams, dreams of sleep, or false awakenings. When flying and lucidity occurred in the same dream, lucidity preceded flight rather than being triggered by it. Possible bases for this relationship of lucid and flying dreams are discussed in terms of their psychological and physiological commonalities. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
To investigate the neural correlates of lucid dreaming. Parallel EEG/fMRI recordings of night sleep. Sleep laboratory and fMRI facilities. Four experienced lucid dreamers. N/A. Out of 4 participants, one subject had 2 episodes of verified lucid REM sleep of sufficient length to be analyzed by fMRI. During lucid dreaming the bilateral precuneus, cuneus, parietal lobules, and prefrontal and occipito-temporal cortices activated strongly as compared with non-lucid REM sleep. In line with recent EEG data, lucid dreaming was associated with a reactivation of areas which are normally deactivated during REM sleep. This pattern of activity can explain the recovery of reflective cognitive capabilities that are the hallmark of lucid dreaming.
Article
Full-text available
Sleep paralyses are viewed as pure motor phenomena featured by a dissociated state in which REM-related muscle atonia coexists with a wakefulness state of full consciousness. We present a 59-year-old man diagnosed with narcolepsy experiencing sleep paralysis, who failed to establish the boundaries between real experience and dream mentation during the paralysis: the patient's recall was indeed featured by uncertainty between real/unreal and awaken/dreaming. Hereby, we suggest that sleep paralysis may represent a more complex condition encompassing a dissociated state of mind together with the dissociative motor component. Neurophysiological data (spectral EEG analysis corroborated by cross-correlation analysis) reinforce the idea that the patient was in an intermediate state of mind between wake and REM sleep during the paralysis. The persistence of local impaired activity proper of REM sleep in cortical circuits necessary for self-reflective awareness and insight, in conflict with wakefulness-related activation of the remaining brain areas, could account for disrupted processing of afferent inputs in our patient, representing the underlying pathophysiologic substrate for patient's failure to establish the boundaries between real experience and dream mentation.
Article
Full-text available
The goal of the study was to seek physiological correlates of lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is a dissociated state with aspects of waking and dreaming combined in a way so as to suggest a specific alteration in brain physiology for which we now present preliminary but intriguing evidence. We show that the unusual combination of hallucinatory dream activity and wake-like reflective awareness and agentive control experienced in lucid dreams is paralleled by significant changes in electrophysiology. 19-channel EEG was recorded on up to 5 nights for each participant. Lucid episodes occurred as a result of pre-sleep autosuggestion. Sleep laboratory of the Neurological Clinic, Frankfurt University. Six student volunteers who had been trained to become lucid and to signal lucidity through a pattern of horizontal eye movements. Results show lucid dreaming to have REM-like power in frequency bands delta and theta, and higher-than-REM activity in the gamma band, the between-states-difference peaking around 40 Hz. Power in the 40 Hz band is strongest in the frontal and frontolateral region. Overall coherence levels are similar in waking and lucid dreaming and significantly higher than in REM sleep, throughout the entire frequency spectrum analyzed. Regarding specific frequency bands, waking is characterized by high coherence in alpha, and lucid dreaming by increased delta and theta band coherence. In lucid dreaming, coherence is largest in frontolateral and frontal areas. Our data show that lucid dreaming constitutes a hybrid state of consciousness with definable and measurable differences from waking and from REM sleep, particularly in frontal areas.
Article
Full-text available
Lucid dreams occur when a person becomes aware that he or she is dreaming while still in the dream state. Previous reports on the use of lucid dreaming in the treatment of nightmares do not contain adequate baseline data, follow-up data, or both. A treatment of recurrent nightmares incorporating progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, and lucid dream induction is presented for 2 case studies. Three other cases were treated with lucid dream induction alone. The duration of the nightmares ranged from once every few days to once every few months. The procedures were effective in all 5 cases. A 1-year follow-up showed that 4 of the subjects no longer had nightmares and that 1 subject experienced a decrease in the intensity and frequency of her nightmares. The alleviation of recurrent nightmares in these 5 cases parallels the results reported by other authors who have used training in lucid dreaming to treat nightmares. Our results support the idea that treatments based on lucid dream induction can be of therapeutic value. Based on these and other case studies, it remains unclear whether the principal factor responsible for the alleviation of nightmares is lucidity itself, or the ability to alter some aspect of the dream.
Article
Full-text available
Problems with sleep are one of the commonest reasons for seeking medical attention. Knowledge gained from basic research into sleep in animals has led to marked advances in the understanding of human sleep, with important diagnostic and therapeutic implications. At the same time, research guided by human sleep disorders is leading to important basic sleep concepts. For example, sleep may not be a global, but rather a local, brain phenomenon. Furthermore, contrary to common assumptions, wakefulness, rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM sleep are not mutually exclusive states. This striking realization explains a fascinating range of clinical phenomena.
Preprint
During lucid moments of a dream, the sleeper is aware of the dream as it is occurring, and as a result can often perform predetermined actions within the dream. This provides a unique opportunity for dream research, as lucid dreamers can send real-time signals from sleep to the external world. Historically, such sleep-to-wake communication from a lucid dream is executed via left-right eye movements, which places hard limitations on information transfer. Recent advances in biomedical equipment — specifically brain-computer interfaces — have resulted in headsets that use neural recordings to translate mental imagery into computer commands. In light of evidence suggesting that dreamed and imagined actions recruit similar neural resources, I considered the possibility that the same mental commands that are collected and translated from waking imagery could be similarly performed and detected from within a lucid dream. In this exploratory study with proof-of-concept intent, three participants were asked to use an Emotiv EPOC+ headset and companion software to map a mental motor command (pushing a block) with a resulting computer action (graphic of block moving forward). After waking training, participants attempted to induce a lucid dream while wearing the headset, and upon lucidity perform the same mental command. In two participants, subjectively reported lucid dream task completion was corroborated with video footage of the resulting computer graphic. These preliminary results suggest that a wake-trained brain-computer interface can be controlled from sleep and offer important directions for future dream communication and research.
Article
Sleep paralysis is a relatively common but under-researched phenomenon. While the causes are unknown, a number of studies have investigated potential risk factors. In this article, we conducted a systematic review on the available literature regarding variables associated with both the frequency and intensity of sleep paralysis episodes. A total of 42 studies met the inclusion criteria. For each study, sample size, study site, sex and age of participants, sleep paralysis measure, and results of analyses looking at the relationship(s) between sleep paralysis and associated variable(s) were extracted. A large number of variables were associated with sleep paralysis and a number of themes emerged. These were: substance use, stress and trauma, genetic influences, physical illness, personality, intelligence, anomalous beliefs, sleep problems and disorders (both in terms of subjective sleep quality and objective sleep disruption), symptoms of psychiatric illness in non-clinical samples (particularly anxiety symptoms), and psychiatric disorders. Sleep paralysis appears to be particularly prevalent in post-traumatic stress disorder, and to a less degree, panic disorder. Limitations of the current literature, directions for future research, and implications for clinical practice are discussed.
Article
Sleep paralysis and lucid dreaming are both dissociated experiences related to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Anecdotal evidence suggests that episodes of sleep paralysis and lucid dreaming are related but different experiences. In this study we test this claim systematically for the first time in an online survey with 1928 participants (age range: 18-82 years; 53% female). Confirming anecdotal evidence, sleep paralysis and lucid dreaming frequency were related positively and this association was most apparent between lucid dreaming and sleep paralysis episodes featuring vestibular-motor hallucinations. Dissociative experiences were the only common (positive) predictor of both sleep paralysis and lucid dreaming. Both experiences showed different associations with other key variables of interest: sleep paralysis was predicted by sleep quality, anxiety and life stress, whereas lucid dreaming was predicted by a positive constructive daydreaming style and vividness of sensory imagery. Overall, results suggest that dissociative experiences during wakefulness are reflected in dissociative experiences during REM sleep; while sleep paralysis is related primarily to issues of sleep quality and wellbeing, lucid dreaming may reflect a continuation of greater imaginative capacity and positive imagery in waking states.
Article
We report a quality effects meta-analysis on studies from the period 1966–2016 measuring either (a) lucid dreaming prevalence (one or more lucid dreams in a lifetime); (b) frequent lucid dreaming (one or more lucid dreams in a month) or both. A quality effects meta-analysis allows for the minimisation of the influence of study methodological quality on overall model estimates. Following sensitivity analysis, a heterogeneous lucid dreaming prevalence data set of 34 studies yielded a mean estimate of 55%, 95% C. I. [49%, 62%] for which moderator analysis showed no systematic bias for suspected sources of variability. A heterogeneous lucid dreaming frequency data set of 25 studies yielded a mean estimate of 23%, 95% C. I. [20%, 25%], moderator analysis revealed no suspected sources of variability. These findings are consistent with earlier estimates of lucid dreaming prevalence and frequent lucid dreaming in the population but are based on more robust evidence.
Chapter
Lucid dreams have much in common with out-of-body experiences, or OBEs. Harvey Irwin has described, elsewhere in this book, the empirical evidence for similarities and statistical relationships between the two experiences. I believe these relationships are important: so much so that any theory of one experience must also be able to account for the other.
Article
The results of a web-survey aimed at analyzing the phenomenology of False Awakenings (FAs) (sleep-related experiences in which the subjects erroneously believe that they have woken up, only to discover subsequently that the apparent awakening was part of a dream) were revised in light of Hobson's recent dream protoconsciousness theory. A web-questionnaire had been previously submitted to three web-sites dedicated to lucid dreamers, a kind of subjects in which FAs have been reported to occur with high frequency. Ninety subjects submitted complete forms within an established two-months period. All the respondents were habitual lucid dreamers, 41% reported experiencing FAs at least monthly, 79% had experienced a FA in the last month and 46% in the last week. Some stereotyped dream patterns were found to recur repeatedly in FAs, including representations of normal awakenings, start-of-the-day routines and other realistically depicted activities (exploring, wandering) within the sleep environment. This finding is consistent with Hobson's hypothesis that dream content feeds itself from innate schemes, enacted on the basis of subjective experiential memories. A possible evolutionary interpretation of FAs is proposed.
Article
Objective: The objective was to conduct a scientifically rigorous update to the National Sleep Foundation's sleep duration recommendations. Methods: The National Sleep Foundation convened an 18-member multidisciplinary expert panel, representing 12 stakeholder organizations, to evaluate scientific literature concerning sleep duration recommendations. We determined expert recommendations for sufficient sleep durations across the lifespan using the RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method. Results: The panel agreed that, for healthy individuals with normal sleep, the appropriate sleep duration for newborns is between 14 and 17 hours, infants between 12 and 15 hours, toddlers between 11 and 14 hours, preschoolers between 10 and 13 hours, and school-aged children between 9 and 11 hours. For teenagers, 8 to 10 hours was considered appropriate, 7 to 9 hours for young adults and adults, and 7 to 8 hours of sleep for older adults. Conclusions: Sufficient sleep duration requirements vary across the lifespan and from person to person. The recommendations reported here represent guidelines for healthy individuals and those not suffering from a sleep disorder. Sleep durations outside the recommended range may be appropriate, but deviating far from the normal range is rare. Individuals who habitually sleep outside the normal range may be exhibiting signs or symptoms of serious health problems or, if done volitionally, may be compromising their health and well-being.
Article
Objective: To evaluate the frequency, determinants and sleep characteristics of lucid dreaming in narcolepsy. Settings: University hospital sleep disorder unit. Design: Case-control study. Participants: Consecutive patients with narcolepsy and healthy controls. Methods: Participants were interviewed regarding the frequency and determinants of lucid dreaming. Twelve narcolepsy patients and 5 controls who self-identified as frequent lucid dreamers underwent nighttime and daytime sleep monitoring after being given instructions regarding how to give an eye signal when lucid. Results: Compared to 53 healthy controls, the 53 narcolepsy patients reported more frequent dream recall, nightmares and recurrent dreams. Lucid dreaming was achieved by 77.4% of narcoleptic patients and 49.1% of controls (P < 0.05), with an average of 7.6±11 vs. 0.3±0.8 lucid dreams/ month (P < 0.0001). The frequency of cataplexy, hallucinations, sleep paralysis, dyssomnia, HLA positivity, and the severity of sleepiness were similar in narcolepsy with and without lucid dreaming. Seven of 12 narcoleptic (and 0 non-narcoleptic) lucid dreamers achieved lucid REM sleep across a total of 33 naps, including 14 episodes with eye signal. The delta power in the electrode average, in delta, theta, and alpha powers in C4, and coherences between frontal electrodes were lower in lucid than non-lucid REM sleep in spectral EEG analysis. The duration of REM sleep was longer, the REM sleep onset latency tended to be shorter, and the percentage of atonia tended to be higher in lucid vs. non-lucid REM sleep; the arousal index and REM density and amplitude were unchanged. Conclusion: Narcolepsy is a novel, easy model for studying lucid dreaming.
Article
Study objective: Nightmares are a frequent symptom in narcolepsy. Lucid dreaming, i.e., the phenomenon of becoming aware of the dreaming state during dreaming, has been demonstrated to be of therapeutic value for recurrent nightmares. Data on lucid dreaming in narcolepsy patients, however, is sparse. The aim of this study was to evaluate the frequency of recalled dreams (DF), nightmares (NF), and lucid dreams (LDF) in narcolepsy patients compared to healthy controls. In addition, we explored if dream lucidity provides relief during nightmares in narcolepsy patients. Design: We interviewed patients with narcolepsy and healthy controls. Setting: Telephone interview. Patients: 60 patients diagnosed with narcolepsy (23-82 years, 35 females) and 919 control subjects (14-93 years, 497 females). Interventions: N/A. Measurements and results: Logistic regression revealed significant (P < 0.001) differences in DF, NF, and LDF between narcolepsy patients and controls after controlling for age and gender, with effect sizes lying in the large range (Cohen's d > 0.8). The differences in NF and LDF between patients and controls stayed significant after controlling for DF. Comparison of 35 narcolepsy patients currently under medication with their former drug-free period revealed significant differences in DF and NF (z < 0.05, signed-rank test) but not LDF (z = 0.8). Irrespective of medication, 70% of narcolepsy patients with experience in lucid dreaming indicated that dream lucidity provides relief during nightmares. Conclusion: Narcolepsy patients experience a markedly higher lucid dreaming frequency compared to controls, and many patients report a positive impact of dream lucidity on the distress experienced from nightmares.
Article
Since 1896 I have studied my own dreams, writing down the most interesting in my diary. In 1898 I began to keep a separate account for a particular kind of dream which seemed to me the most important, and I have continued it up to this day. Altogether I collected about 500 dreams, of which 352 are the particular kind just mentioned. This material may form the basis of what I hope may become a scientific structure of some value, if leisure and strength to build it up carefully do not fail me. In the meantime, with a pardonable anxiety lest the ideas should not find expression in time, I condensed them into a work of art--a novel called The Bride of Dreams. The fictitious form enabled me to deal freely with delicate matters, and had also the advantage that it expressed rather unusual ideas in a less aggressive way--esoterically, so to speak. Yet I want to express these ideas also in a form that will appeal more directly to the scientific mind, and I know I cannot find a better audience for this purpose than the members of the Society for Psychical Research, who are accustomed to treat investigations and ideas of an unusual sort in a broad-minded and yet critical spirit. This paper is only a preliminary sketch, a short announcement of a greater work, which I hope to be able to complete in later years.
Article
This paper summarizes the development of the concept of metachoric experiences from 1961 onwards. The name of metachoric experience was given to one in which the whole of the environment was replaced by a hallucinatory one, although this may provide a precise replica of the physical world and appear to be completely continuous with normal experience. Prior to 1968 three types of metachoric experiences had been recognized; lucid dreams, out-of-the-body experiences (OBEs) and false awakenings, all of which showed interrelationships. The Institute's 1968 appeal for apparitional experiences led to a recognition that many of these were probably metachoric. This was suggested among other things by certain cases in which the lighting of the whole field of view changes, thus indicating that the experience was completely hallucinatory. The study of apparitions led also to the concept of waking dreams, i.e. completely hallucinatory experiences which may be initiated and terminated without any awareness of discontinuity on the part of the subject. These experiences seem to be capable of considerable apparent extension in time, thus providing a possible explanation of some reports of UFO sightings and of some of the more anomalous experiences of psychical research. In this connection the paper discusses the well-known Versailles experience of Miss Moberly and Miss Jourdain, and a published case of C.G. Jung. In conclusion some of the most obvious similarities and differences between the different types of metachoric experiences are discussed.
Article
Hypnagogic and hypnopompic experiences (HHEs) accompanying sleep paralysis (SP) are often cited as sources of accounts of supernatural nocturnal assaults and paranormal experiences. Descriptions of such experiences are remarkably consistent across time and cultures and consistent also with known mechanisms of REM states. A three-factor structural model of HHEs based on their relations both to cultural narratives and REM neurophysiology is developed and tested with several large samples. One factor, labeled Intruder, consisting of sensed presence, fear, and auditory and visual hallucinations, is conjectured to originate in a hypervigilant state initiated in the midbrain. Another factor, Incubus, comprising pressure on the chest, breathing difficulties, and pain, is attributed to effects of hyperpolarization of motoneurons on perceptions of respiration. These two factors have in common an implied alien "other" consistent with occult narratives identified in numerous contemporary and historical cultures. A third factor, labeled Unusual Bodily Experiences, consisting of floating/flying sensations, out-of-body experiences, and feelings of bliss, is related to physically impossible experiences generated by conflicts of endogenous and exogenous activation related to body position, orientation, and movement. Implications of this last factor for understanding of orientational primacy in self-consciousness are considered. Central features of the model developed here are consistent with recent work on hallucinations associated with hypnosis and schizophrenia.
Article
Hallucinations are perceptual phenomena involved in many fields of pathology. Although clinically widely explored, studies in the general population of these phenomena are scant. This issue was investigated using representative samples of the non-institutionalized general population of the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy aged 15 years or over (N=13,057). These surveys were conducted by telephone and explored mental disorders and hallucinations (visual, auditory, olfactory, haptic and gustatory hallucinations, out-of-body experiences, hypnagogic and hypnopompic hallucinations). Overall, 38.7% of the sample reported hallucinatory experiences (19.6% less than once in a month; 6.4% monthly; 2.7% once a week; and 2.4% more than once a week). These hallucinations occurred, (1) At sleep onset (hypnagogic hallucinations 24.8%) and/or upon awakening (hypnopompic hallucinations 6.6%), without relationship to a specific pathology in more than half of the cases; frightening hallucinations were more often the expression of sleep or mental disorders such as narcolepsy, OSAS or anxiety disorders. (2) During the daytime and reported by 27% of the sample: visual (prevalence of 3.2%) and auditory (0.6%) hallucinations were strongly related to a psychotic pathology (respective OR of 6.6 and 5.1 with a conservative estimate of the lifetime prevalence of psychotic disorders in this sample of 0.5%); and to anxiety (respective OR of 5.0 and 9.1). Haptic hallucinations were reported by 3.1% with current use of drugs as the highest risk factor (OR=9.8). In conclusion, the prevalence of hallucinations in the general population is not negligible. Daytime visual and auditory hallucinations are associated with a greater risk of psychiatric disorders. The other daytime sensory hallucinations are more related to an organic or a toxic disorder.
Article
Sleep paralysis is an unusual neurologic phenomenon which may be described as "brief accesses of inability to move one's limbs, to speak and even to open one's eyes on awakening (hypnapompic or postdormital sleep paralysis) or more rarely when falling asleep (hypnagogic or predormital sleep paralysis)."11 The patient is fully aware of his state and has complete recall for the event. Sleep paralysis is occasionally preceded or accompanied by vivid and terrifying hallucinations in the pre- or postdormital stages of sleep. Rarely, it may be preceded by cataplexy. The paralysis always disappears suddenly, either spontaneously, after intense effort by the patient to "break" the paralysis, or after some sensory stimulation, such as being touched or spoken to. The duration of the episode is usually a few seconds, but may be a few minutes. The only sequelae are an occasional relapse into the paralyzed state if the patient does not
Lucid dreaming. The power of being awake and aware in your dreams
  • S Laberge
LaBerge, S., Lucid dreaming. The power of being awake and aware in your dreams, Los Angeles, CA: Tarcher; 1985.
A comparison of waking instruction and posthypnotic suggestion for lucid dream induction
  • J Dane
  • R Van De Caslte
Dane, J., Van de Caslte, R., A comparison of waking instruction and posthypnotic suggestion for lucid dream induction, Lucidity Letter 3; 1984.
Lucid dreams: An electro-physiological and psychological stud
  • K M Hearne
Hearne KM. Lucid dreams: An electro-physiological and psychological stud. Liverpool, UK: Liverpool University; 1978.
Conscious mind, sleeping brain: Perspectives on lucid dreaming
  • J I Gackenbach
  • S Laberge
Gackenbach JI, LaBerge S. Conscious mind, sleeping brain: Perspectives on lucid dreaming. N.Y.: Plenum; 1978.
My dream, my rules: Can lucid dreaming treat nightmares?
  • T C F Macedo
  • G H Ferreira
  • K M Almondes
  • R Kirov
  • S A Mota-Rolim
Macedo, T.C.F., Ferreira, G.H., Almondes, K.M., Kirov, R., and Mota-Rolim, S.A., My dream, my rules: Can lucid dreaming treat nightmares? Front. Psychol, 10; 2019.
  • Alon Y Avidan
  • Phyllis C Zee
Avidan, Alon Y. & Zee, Phyllis C., Handbook of Sleep Medicine (2 ed.), Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Chapter 5; 2011.
Shattering the Illusion of Reality. Part II: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Raduga Michael
  • Phase The
Raduga Michael, Phase The. Shattering the Illusion of Reality. Part II: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2014.
Out-of-body” experiences occurring during REM sleep
  • S Laberge
  • L Levitan
  • A Brylowski
  • W Dement
LaBerge S., Levitan L., Brylowski A., Dement W, "Out-of-body" experiences occurring during REM sleep, Sleep Research; 1988.