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    Thread: The placebo effect and lucid dreaming.

    1. #1
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      The placebo effect and lucid dreaming.

      I was curious of how much the placebo effect could increase the chances of having a lucid dream. If it could have a big enough effect it could possibly make a phenomenally effective and easy technique for helping other people start lucid dreaming. I couldn't really test it out on myself of course but didn't really have anyone to test it on because none of my family had any interest in lucid dreaming. My friend does but it would not be very easy to do a good experiment on him.

      I taught my nephew, who is 10, how to lucid dream last month so when he came to stay at my house for four days on August sixteenth. I knew it would be a perfect chance to do the test. He is pretty excited about lucid dreaming and can be a bit gullible some times.

      I didn't have any placebo pill which would be just a pill made out of sugar that you tell the person taking it that it will have a certain effect while it will actually just make them think it will. Instead I got some sweat tarts and got only the blue ones in order to make it seem more consistent. I would have him take these once a night for four days and see if his recall, vividness or lucidness increased. On the last day I would tell him what it actually was and that it was a experiment. (notes: I now know that sweet tarts are not as good as a placebo pill because of their size making them harder to swallow, especially if the person is younger and has a smaller thought. Also they have a sweet taste that if identified could ruin the results. If you are going to use them make sure you tell them they are chewable and Berry flavored.)

      After I had them I told my nephew about b6 and b5 vitamins being able to increase the likely hood of having lucid dreams. I wanted to make sure he knew it was vitamins because it would send a bad message if I made him think it was okay to take prescription pills without your doctors approval. He then asked if I had any as I knew he would and I said yes and he took them that night.

      Morning one results:

      No dreams recalled. He had to sleep on a blanket in the floor and said it made it harder to sleep but the placebo seems to have had no effect.

      Morning two results:

      again no recall. He also reported being uncomfortable again. He noticed the taste and I said its berry flavored and he was okay with it.

      Morning three results:

      This time he slept in a bed but still remembered no dreams. If he can't remember the dreams it is very hard to judge what effect it had so I have to say its not doing well.


      The next day his mother, my sister, came over also and was spending that night here with us. She is a doctor and I told her about the test I was doing on him and she was concerned that he would get the wrong message and think it was okay to take things that your doctor didn't say was okay. She told him about it before I did which is quite annoying because I wanted to tell him all at once at the conclusion for sort of like a full debriefing. He left the next morning and didn't have any dream recall or lucids the whole time he was here.

      Conclusion:

      The placebo effect dose not seem to necessarily cause lucid dreaming. Of course things like comfort, amount of sleep and most importantly gullibility and susceptibility to the placebo effect have large effects on the results. It definitely needs more research on a large amount of people and in a sleep lab for really answers but it is enough for me to say it is not worth it to try and induce lucids in others with the placebo effect.


      P.S. School started this week and my nephew told his friends about lucid dreaming. My nephew thought it would be a good idea to tell a kid that if they drank some "magic juice" (which was actually propel) it would make him have a lucid, because of what I did. A teacher overheard him and at their school they have a no tolerance rule. He got taken to the office and was nearly expelled because they had no way of proving it didn't have some kind of drug in it. his parents had to come and explain the whole thing was a fiasco!
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      Poor kid. I remember, as a kid, making everyone hold hands (on a rainy day) and concentrate on a vision to transfer to the next person (like mental telephone). Being a kid is wonderful...too bad things have become so rough. Magic juice=drugs. So, sad. So, sad. You must be an awesome uncle, to inspire such imagination!! Your nephew is lucky to have you.
      Last edited by darknightedlady; 08-27-2010 at 06:17 AM.
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      Saw an interesting theory - well, I suppose you could call it a conspiracy theory! - that ETWOLD is just all placebo and that the only thing you need to LD is a strong determination to have LDs.(Would only apply to DILDs though)
      My LDing record, if you want to hear about it, is about 4 WILDs, 1 DEILD, and the rest DILDs.

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      You must be an awesome uncle, to inspire such imagination!!
      Lol im not proud that I inspired hm to lie however.
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      Believing in things like astral projection might actually work as a placebo for inducing lucid dreams, no?

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      The only problem with the test was that he had no recall. Seeing whether or not it could help with lucidity is pointless if they have no recall, because then you have two variables, lucidity and recall. In my experience, placebo/expectation isn't necessary for recall, desire is. As for lucidity, I would assume it would work perfectly, so long as the individual has at least some experience with dreams (more likely with vivid dreams/good recall). I think more people should do tests though. I was going to tell my friend he can get lucid if he takes a vitamin C megadose, and see how that works out, but I really think more people should experiment. For example, people who have a lucid dream once, and then are told that it runs in the family are often extremely likely to have more lucids because of that thought alone, even if it doesn't run in the family (Hearsay)

      But also, it is quite sad what schools go through nowadays for zero tolerance policies. Me and two of my friends were suspended for 3 days for bringing in an advil bottle with skittles in it (I took it away, saying they could get in trouble for it, and a teacher saw me taking it, so her and my friend who just happened to be with us were all taken down to the dean, even though that teacher tried to keep us out of trouble by keeping it secret, the dean heard and called us up). There was a story about a girl somewhere in the US who got caught with some ibuprofen and some aleve or something, and was strip searched and expelled until lawyers got involved.
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      Ya I know I wish I could have had a better experiment but hey I did what I could. I also went under the idea that if he did have a lucid he would have been like many times more likely to remember it. I am just going with my conclusion is that expectation does not work perfectly atleast not for everyone and in all situations. It still has potential but your best off with using conventional techniques to teach people lucid dreaming.
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      GenericHumanBeing who... MrAccident's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Bobblehat View Post
      Saw an interesting theory - well, I suppose you could call it a conspiracy theory! - that ETWOLD is just all placebo and that the only thing you need to LD is a strong determination to have LDs.(Would only apply to DILDs though)
      I don't think that it applies only to DILDs.
      When I started the whole thing, about 3 months ago; I read about the matter a little the first day. The second day, I read about it the whole day; and in the morning I woke-up in a dream; when before learning about the subject - I recall only one time in my life in which I realized I was dreaming.
      I think I had that first day, a few other LDs. The day after, I didn't have anything. The day after that, I had a few lucids! There was at list one WILD that I easily was able to perform. I just felt that I'm almost falling asleep, and stayed conscious. Sense then I wasn't able to have a WILD.
      From the first day, I continued reading about the subject; mostly the tutorials in this site; and tried a lot of the techniques from here and other places. After those two full days, for about two months I hardly had anything; no matter how-much I tried.

      about two weeks ago I saw a few lectures by Stephen LaBerge; and tried his technique - reminding my self that I am dreaming or something to do with Lucidity; just like if you need to do something in an hour. If I need to do something in an hour and I don't remind myself - I probably don't remember to do that. If I do remind myself - sometimes I actually remember to do that. :-)
      So I continually repeated "lucid dream" when I lied in bad. I woke-up without having a LD; but the next time I woke-up - I head one. So I don't even know if the technique was what made the difference.
      I head 4 LDs in those two weeks. In one I became lucid because something scared me (I heard, it happens to some people naturally). In another I just started a LD (without an early warning). In other two I became lucid in the middle of a dream. (didn't do any RCs).
      I also had some jobs that are in odd hours and some other sleep disturbances; otherwise I might have had more.

      At the beginning, I did it without any: work, experience, techniques; and then for 2 months did a lot, and almost no LDs.
      So I came to the conclusion that the techniques and generally working hard for that, is contra-productive. I live by the Wu wei (7 days rule = can't post links so check in Wikipedia) principle; so I see no reason for Lucid Dreaming not to be this way too.
      Eventually my subconscious itself, allowed me to become lucid. So maybe the most important things are: to know that you have that ability, and maybe thinking/wanting for it to happen.
      So the technique that I want to use is KILD (Knowledge Induced Lucid Dream) and eventually HILD (Habit Induced Lucid Dream).
      The reminding technique may be good at the beginning though.

      A clarification - Placebo is not just something fake. The person needs to do some mental work for it to work. So it always may be the case that the person didn't do it well. It's not exactly something that comes with a book; as the matter of fact, it's probably the farthest thing from it; and the hardest thing to understand and being able to do.
      Last edited by MrAccident; 03-06-2011 at 09:15 PM.

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