Lucid Dreamers Demonstrate Better Awareness When Awake

People who can lucid dream are able to transfer skills acquired for lucid dreaming into the waking world. In fact, this skill makes lucid dreamers more aware and cognizant than non-lucid dreamers.

Lucid dreaming is essentially the ability to be aware of and in some cases manipulate dreams as they happen. Like the movie Inception.

The study examined 68 participants aged between 18 and 25 who had experienced different levels of lucid dreaming, from never to several times a month. They were asked to solve 30 problems designed to test insight. Each problem consisted of three words and a solution word.

Each of the three words could be combined with the solution word to create a new compound word.

For example with the words ‘sand’, ‘mile’ and ‘age’, the linking word would be ‘stone’.

Results showed that frequent lucid dreamers solved 25 per cent more of the insight problems than the non-lucid dreamers.

Miss Shaw, who conducted the research as part of her undergraduate dissertation, said the ability to experience lucid dreams is something that can be learned. “We aren’t entirely sure why some people are naturally better at lucid dreaming than others, although it is a skill which can be taught,” said Hannah.

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Daydreaming is Good for You

I’m a fan of daydreaming so finding out that it helps one process information and be more creative has made my day!

Here’s where things get interesting: those students assigned to the boring task performed far better when asked to come up with additional uses for everyday items to which they had already been exposed. Given new items, all the groups did the same. Given repeated items, the daydreamers came up with forty-one per cent more possibilities than students in the other conditions.

What does this mean? Schooler argues that it’s clear evidence that those twelve minutes of daydreaming allowed the subjects to invent additional possibilities, as their unconscious minds pondered new ways to make use of toothpicks. This is why the effect was limited to those items that the subjects had previously been asked about—the question needed to marinate in the mind, “incubating” in those subterranean parts of the brain we can barely control.

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Dreams in a Bank

Dream Bank is a website to list your dreams. It’s a simple idea, from the site:

First, we provide a fun, easy way for you to fund your dreams. By posting a dream on www.dreambank.org, friends, family and fans can contribute to your dream fund. Each contribution brings your dream closer to reality. Funding dreams is important, but so is support. DreamBank is also built as a community so you can connect and communicate with fellow Dreamers to: follow their progress, share ideas and resources, or just cheer them on.

Second, DreamBank is about helping the planet. By contributing to a dream, you spare the planet some of the nasty side effects of manufacturing, packaging and shipping gifts that, although we appreciate, we often don’t really need or want. Did you know that 83% of Americans received unwanted gifts during the 2006 holiday season? All that ‘stuff’ puts a strain on the environment.

Dreaming in Green

The Guardan has a well written article that looks at the emergence of academic green thinking in the UK. The article looks at the advancements being made, but does so in a way that ensures we keep our feet on the ground.

Fortunately, he points out, students are starting to take action for themselves, with campaigns including student organisation People and Planet’s Green League Table last summer, which gave universities degrees according to their environmental awareness. The results were surprising. Oxford and LSE both got 2.1s, while York and Glasgow scraped 2.2s: the top three were Leeds Metropolitan, Plymouth and Hertfordshire. “That really shook a few vice-chancellors,” says Patton, smiling. “I imagine that resolutions were made not to come that far down again.”

But the biggest problem is that, in the end, this is not just an issue for universities. This is going to be a problem for all of us. Paul Allen, development director at the Centre for Alternative Technology, is very anxious about the blindness of the academics. “Do they realise that we need to have a huge reskilling for Britain, that in the years ahead we are going to have to learn how to do things very differently? Are they planning courses that are going to re-educate our young people? No. They’re teaching young people in buildings where the lights are on all the time, in buildings where the energy is badly managed, where no one has even thought about approaching green electricity providers.”

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