68% of dreamers said that they feel that their lucid dreams have affected their waking lives.
How often do you experience lucid dreaming?
15 respondents representing 26% of the participants said that they experience lucid dreams at least once a month and up to several times a week (hereinafter they will be called “regular lucid dreamers”.)
29 respondents representing 51% of the participants said that they experience lucid dreams once every few months or once in a while (hereinafter they will be called “non-regular lucid dreamers”.)
13 respondents were not included in the analysis, including 8 respondents who indicated that they may have had a lucid dream but are not sure if they did and 5 respondents who answered that they have never had lucid dreams (hereinafter they will be called “non-dreamers”.)
Other studies have shown that these percentages are lower in the general population (20% of the general population is defined as regular lucid dreamers and 50% as non-regular lucid dreamers), thus, the examined population does not represent the entire population.
At what age did you first experience lucid dreams?
Most dreamers started dreaming in their teens when they were 10-15 years old. The average age for this parameter is 16. The regular dreamers show a younger average age of first experiencing lucid dreaming (12), than the non-regular dreamers (18).
The effect of lucid dreams on waking life:
68% of dreamers said that they felt that their lucid dreams have affected their waking life in some way. There is a big difference between regular dreamers and non-regular dreamers in this regard. 93% of the regular dreamers said they experienced an effect compared to only 54% among the non-regular dreamers.
Do you feel that the lucid dreams you’ve had have affected your waking life in any way?
Participants, who answered that lucid dreams did not affect their waking life, indicated that it was a positive experience but had no effect on their waking life. Some stated that there was no consciously perceived effect and some said that they only experienced lucid dreaming a few times and could not determine an effect.
Respondents who answered that lucid dreams did affect their lives stated that lucid dreams mainly help them understand how to act and make decisions in waking life, acting as advice or messages. Many noted that lucid dreams influenced them in terms of creating a good mood and good experiences. A sense of control and empowerment and dealing with anxieties, the ability to influence and observe the subconscious and personal development were also noted. It should be noted that two respondents described a sense of confusion identifying if they are awake or dreaming, upon awakening and during the day. One respondent stated that she worried about not getting enough sleep when she just started experiencing lucid dreams.
What areas of their lives were affected by lucid dreams?
The dreamers stated that lucid dreams mainly affected their spiritual development. In the second place they mentioned improvement of creativity, and experiences defying laws of nature were mentioned third. Regular dreamers first noted improved creativity and creative problem-solving compared to non-regular dreamers, who noted spiritual development as the most significant effect. Additionally, twice as many regular dreamers mentioned dealing with post-trauma compared to non-regular dreamers.
How were the areas you mentioned above affected or improved by your lucid dreams?
“In the case of post-trauma in a dream state, the traumatic incident came up, but unlike in reality, in the dream I had a different option for reaction. If in reality I experienced a freeze response, in the dream I found my voice and acted physically. The dream was healing for me.”
“In lucid dreams I understand situations that seem stressful to me when I think about them, as well as my way of dealing with them.”
“When it comes to art, you get ideas and a clear picture of the completed work.”
Would you recommend that others try lucid dreaming?
67% of the dreamers said that they would recommend other people try to have lucid dreams to a high or very high degree. Among those who recommend this to a very high degree there is a big difference between the regular dreamers and the non-regular dreamers on this subject. 64% of the regular dreamers said they would recommend it compared to only 36% among the non-regular dreamers.
To what extent do you think that working with lucid dreams in therapy can be an effective tool?
75% of the dreamers said that using lucid dreams in therapy can be an effective or very effective tool. Here too, there is a big difference between the regular dreamers and the non-regular dreamers. 62% of the regular dreamers described it as a very effective tool compared to only 15% among the non-regular dreamers.
In what areas or cases do you think lucid dreams could be used in therapy?
When the respondents were asked in which areas lucid dreams can be used in therapy, many wrote that lucid dreams can be used in any area of life “in any possible area, starting with seemingly mundane events or subjects that concern the patient”. The majority of participants mentioned post-trauma, “regaining a sense of control in working with trauma and post-trauma”, improving self-confidence, phobias and nightmares. “Perhaps lucid dreams can be used to give the patients a sense of control over their lives. There is something empowering about the lucid dream experience in the sense that you can change reality.” It has also been noted that working with lucid dreams is like visualization with a more significant effect.
“It is possible to come into contact with content that is perceived as threatening or scary, but in a lucid dream, you know that nothing will happen to you. You can control what happens in the dream and create a story with closure and a “happy ending”. It is possible to meet with different people (living or dead), and tie up “loose ends”, solve unresolved issues, etc. I am reintroduced to how my brain works (or how it fools itself…) and can look at things from a different perspective”.
A total of 57 people responded to the questionnaire. About two-thirds were women and one-third were men. The average age of the respondents was 36.5 and ranged between 19 and 64.
The participants were interested in dreaming in general and lucid dreams in particular. The questionnaire was distributed on the Internet through Facebook pages, forums about lucid dreaming and my acquaintance with people in the field.
Research Tool: I used a structured internet questionnaire, part of which consists of closed 1-5 scale questions, where 1 reflects a very low level of agreement, 2 – a low level of agreement, 3 – moderate level of agreement, 4 – high level of agreement and 5 – very high level of agreement. Additionally, the questionnaire included open questions in which the respondents could insert text and express themselves freely.
The procedure: the questionnaire was created with the Google Forms software and the respondents’ answers were collected on this same platform. The respondents were told that the questionnaire was distributed as part of a Reidman College thesis on lucid dreams. The participants were very cooperative and 57 participants, of which 26% are regular lucid dreamers (experiencing lucid dreams once a month or more), filled out the form.
Study Limitations: the respondents are people with whom I have direct or indirect contact through groups and forums about lucid dreaming and share this common interest with me. For this reason, their answers may not represent the entire population statistically. The questionnaire also discusses sexual experiences, so there is a chance that it was difficult for the respondents to open up and describe themselves in this context, even though their anonymity was guaranteed. Additionally, the questionnaire covers only people who were interested in participating in the study and they may not represent the population in general. An equal number of men and women was not ensured, nor was there adequate representation of all ages.
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