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    Thread: Induction of lucid dreams: a systematic review of evidence

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      Induction of lucid dreams: a systematic review of evidence

      You can read the abstract and see the sections of the article Induction of lucid dreams: a systematic review of evidence here for free, or click the Purchase link on top of the page and pay $35.95.

      I read a review of the article on another dream website. The review says some methods look promising, which is consistent with the abstract, but the review is misleading in giving a "green light" to several techniques without explaining what the article says about those techniques. The abstract of the article says "The methodological quality of the included studies was relatively low. None of the induction techniques were verified to induce lucid dreams reliably and consistently, although some of them look promising."

      I'll probably look up that study for free at a library some day.

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      Here's the link for the article, the author provides it for free.

      Enjoy
      gab and sleepingSYNAPSE like this.
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      Thanks! I created a summary of the results:

      3.4.1. MILD
      MILD - rehearse a dream before falling asleep and visualise becoming lucid while focusing on the intention to remember that one is dreaming. The most often tested empirically. Poor reportability scores (2.1 out of 11). Low quality study. Relation between MILD practice and lucid dreaming frequency is weak but significant. See study for best ways to practice MILD.

      3.4.2. Reflection/reality testing
      Reflection or reality testing technique involves asking oneself regularly during the day whether one is dreaming or not, and examining the environment for possible incongruences. Increases frequency of lucid dreams. Might be more effective than other cognitive techniques, such as autosuggestion, post-hypnotic suggestion, and intention. Comparison with MILD is ambiguous.

      3.4.3. Intention
      Intention technique requires that a person before falling asleep imagine himself or herself as intensively as possible being in a dream situation and recognise that one is dreaming. Similar to MILD, however while the emphasis in MILD is to remember that one is dreaming, in intention technique it is to recognise that one is dreaming. Average quality of studies was 10.3. (quality scores of 21 and higher are considered good, 1120 moderate and 10 and lower poor). About a half of nightmare sufferers had lucid dreams within one to 3 months. Another study showed somewhat less success than reflection technique and similarly effective as autosuggestion.

      3.4.4. Autosuggestion
      In autosuggestion technique a person suggests to himself or herself to have a lucid dream during the night while being in a relaxed stated before falling asleep. Average quality score of studies was 13.0. Effectiveness findings are inhomogeneous. Less effective than reflection/reality testing, but similarly effective as intention technique. Some indications that autosuggestion might be slightly more useful for frequent lucid dreamers, who have one or more lucid dreams per month.

      3.4.5. Tholey's combined technique
      Elements of reflection, intention and autosuggestion. It involves developing a reflective frame of mind (reflection), imagining being in a dream and recognising this (intention), as well as suggesting
      oneself to become lucid when falling asleep (autosuggestion). Methodological quality was moderate. Can significantly increase the frequency of lucid dreaming, especially for those with previous lucid dream experience. Even those participants who had not had any prior lucid dreaming experience had significantly more lucid dreams.

      3.4.6. Post-hypnotic suggestion
      In post-hypnotic suggestion a hypnotherapist suggests to a person in a hypnotic trance to have a lucid dream. Overall quality of these studies was fair. Inhomogeneous results.

      3.4.7. Alpha feedback
      EEG alpha activity biofeedback training before sleep. No effect.

      3.4.8. Dream re-entry
      Aims to enter the dream state directly from a short awakening after a dream. The dreamer is instructed to keep still and focus his or her mind on a particular activity like counting while falling asleep. Two methods for focusing were used: "Counting" (which requires the participant to focus on counting while falling asleep) and "Body" (focus on the own body while falling asleep). Fairly successful however, the methodological quality of this study was low.

      3.4.9. Other (eclectic) approaches
      Combination of methods, such as MILD, reality testing, re-dreaming among others, to promote lucidity in children aged 1012 years. Due to an eclectic approach used, it is impossible to measure the exact impact of each of the techniques used.

      3.5. External stimulation
      Light stimulus, acoustic stimulus, vibro-tactile stimulus, electro-tactile stimulus, vestibular bodily stimulation and water stimulus. Methodological quality was poor.

      3.5.1. Light stimulation
      Light stimuli during REM sleep. One experiment had fair methodological quality (14), while the remaining three studies were of a rather poor quality (average: 5.0). While light cues can be successfully incorporated in dreams and trigger lucidity, there are some indications that light stimuli might be slightly less effective than cognitive MILD technique but the combination of two seems to be even more promising.

      3.5.2. Acoustic stimulation
      Acoustic stimuli (such as voice "this is a dream", a musical tone or buzzer noise). Average methodological quality was poor (6.3). Inconclusive but it seems gradually increasing in volume acoustic stimuli are more effective than constant. It is also possible that acoustic stimulus during REM sleep with little alpha activity in the EEG might be more effective than during high alpha REM.

      3.5.3. Vibro-tactile stimulation
      Poor study quality. While vibro-tactile stimulation, when used in combination with reflection (or also in addition combined with acoustic stimuli), resulted in some lucid dreams, due to a great variety of conditions used, the generalisation of findings is complicated.

      3.5.4. Electro-tactile stimulation
      Electro-tactile stimuli, applied on the wrist. Quite good success rate: Out of 12 participants, six achieved lucidity, two other subjects also achieved lucidity, but woke up at signalling and another one became lucid after falsely perceiving stimulation. Methodological quality was 9 (just below moderate).

      3.5.5. Vestibular stimulation
      Participants were rocked during REM sleep. Inconclusive but some indications of increased dream reflectiveness in early vs. late morning REM periods. Moderate methodological quality (14).

      3.5.6. Water stimulus
      Moderate methodological quality (12). Water was splashed on the face or hand of the participants. No effect on dream lucidity.

      3.6. Application of drugs
      Two doses of donepezil (5 mg and 10 mg) were used as well as a control placebo condition. Nine out of 10 participants reported one or more lucid dreams in two nights while only one participant reported a lucid dream on the control placebo night. Donepezil seemed to significantly enhance lucidity rate, frequency of sleep paralysis and increased estimated time awake during the night. The higher dose was associated with stronger effects, but seemed to provide some adverse effects (i.e. mild insomnia and gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea and vomiting). The methodological quality of the reported study was 7 (poor).
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      ^^ So, basically, nothing works very well, and it is extremely difficult to effectively study the techniques directly. Not a shock, I guess. Also makes sense that MILD and combined techniques seem to be the best. It is nice that LD'ing finally rates a $36 textbook, though!

      Thanks for sharing and summarizing Dohan; this is really interesting stuff!

      ... anyone know where I can score some Donepezil?

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      Yeah, I was interested in that Donepezil result as well. Disappointing that there hasn't been a second study on it yet.

      (or even many anecdotal reports/personal attempts, as far as I could find; only found one during a quick search: http://www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.c...p?f=15&t=17690)
      Last edited by Venryx; 02-09-2017 at 11:47 AM.
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      The donezepil sounds like all the anecdotal reports of galantamine I've read, to include the negative side-effects. I suppose that makes sense, they work somewhat similarly. Both are acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, though galantamine is described as a weak competitive inhibitor, both are reversible though. My quick and dirty wiki search was pretty vague about donezepil's effects as an inhibitor though (guessing it has to be fairly strong considering it lacks the nicotinic agonist qualities galantamine possesses which somewhat make up for being a weak inhibitor), not mentioning whether it was competitive or not and describing it as "inactivating" them. Sounds like another way to say inhibit, but medical and neuroscience terminology are fairly specific, so I found the ambiguity a little hard to make sense of.

      In any case, the only real difference is donezepil's potent effects as a sigma-1 agonist, which little is really known about. I've read quite a bit about it in the past because the drugs sharing this affinity for sigma 1 (and that act as agonists) all have rather interesting side effects, usually negative in the case of drugs of abuse, and positive in the case of SSRI's that are known to have this quality (it was previously unnoticed, but even though serotonin's relationship has been shown to be far more misunderstood and misapplied when it comes to medicinal treatments, the SSRI's that are sigma-1 agonists have a noticeably higher success rate in treating the symptoms of depression, so it's theorized it has some anti-depressant effects). Given that info dump on the antidepressants, it's kinda strange to turn right around and point out that, for instance, stimulants that are known to have affinity for the sigma-1 receptor are significantly more likely to induce stimulant psychosis at doses lower than stimulants that don't (naturally the differences in potency are accounted for and the mode of action are typically close enough to warrant direct comparison). A great example of this are cocaine and methamphetamine, as both as sigma-1 agonists. Hallucinogens that have affinity for the receptor seem to cause markedly increased psychosis resembling thought patterns and higher rates of psychotic breaks than drugs of the same class with similar pharmacology. PCP is a sigma-1 agonist and the stigma associated with its use is evidence enough for the psychosis inducing effects (even if they're a bit overblown) when in comparison with ketamine, which is a pcp analog without significant affinity for sigma-1. DMT, interestingly enough, happens to be one of the only currently well known psychedelics with affinity for the sigma-1 receptor (there's some debate or not if it's a natural ligand or not, since none has been found).

      From what I've read, it's all really speculative, but apparently sigma-1 agonism can actually alter the functionality of acetylcholine in the brain, which is something you don't really see anywhere else. Sure, there are neuromodulators that control the levels of certain neurotransmitters, like serotonin does for dopamine (and I think norepinephrine, among others), but it doesn't outright alter the functionality. I wonder how much that is implicated in its success as a lucid aid in this study.

      Sorry for the huge info dump; I definitely write super long posts all the time (and need to stop, lol), but I haven't been able to nerd out in a while and ramble about this stuff.

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      Just a side note: Stephen LaBerge filed a patent on Donepizil as a lucid dreaming induction method (as well as galantamine and a few others, all acetylcholinesterase inhibitors). Patent filing kinda lame if you ask me...
      https://www.google.com/patents/US20040266659

      But yea this paper is really great! It is helpful to have all that research put into one place. I also don't think it suggests that the induction methods are necessarily bad, but rather that the methods used to study them so far have not been very rigorous. All the more reason for people to go out and study them correctly!
      Last edited by sleepingSYNAPSE; 03-22-2017 at 02:50 AM.

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