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Monday, 09 August 2021

Does your brain function increases through frequent lucid dreaming?

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Does your brain function increases through frequent lucid dreaming? Associative picture from Unsplash

Lucid dreams are sleep-awakening experiences when your brain is conscious about dreaming and can control the dream. These are fantastic experiences and occur mainly during REM sleep, characterized by eye movement and increased brain activity.

The spontaneous frequency of lucid dreaming and the nature of dreams vary from person to person. However, you can learn to increase the frequency. Lucid dreams are not limited only to have fun experiences; instead, dreamers may train their brains for problem-solving, being creative, and also to treat some sleep-related issues like nightmares, sleep paralysis, etc.

Did you ever think, what happens in your brain while you are lucid dreaming? Or how lucid dreaming is associated with increased functional connectivity in your brain? Let's explore this concept through learning frequency and activity during a lucid dream.

Frequency of Lucid Dreaming

According to studies, 55% of people experience lucid dreams at least once in their life, 20% to 25% experience every week, and a smaller number of people experience multiple times in a week or every night. By practicing specific techniques, you can train your brain to increase the frequency of lucid dreams.

Nature of Dreams

People share unique experiences in their lucid dream, including flying, meeting celebrities, visiting lost loved ones, problem-solving, and anything impossible to do in reality; all result in increased brain activity.

Brain activity during a lucid dream

Let's understand it with the help of other studies about sleep. As mentioned above, lucid dream occurs during REM cycles. REM starts after 60 to 90 minutes of your sleep and repeats periodically. During the REM sleep state, your brain is more active as compared to other stages of sleep. The activity of brain waves is observed similar to when you are awake, and it makes REM state more feasible to experience dreams. Moreover, brain activity is higher in a lucid dream than in a non-lucid dream.

A 2017 study published in the journal Neuroscience of Consciousness explains that brain regions liable for perception, responsiveness, and activity behave similarly to when you're awake in a lucid dream.

Functional connectivity in Brain

Neuroscientists don't have enough research to understand how and why lucid dreams happen. But from available studies, some results prove that frequent lucid dreaming is associated with increased functional connectivity in your brain.

For instance, studies show apparent physical differences in the brains of people who can experience lucid dreams and those who can't. The prefrontal cortex is the very front part of the brain and is responsible for making decisions, recalling memories, etc. It is more extensive in people who have frequent lucid dreams, which means more functional brain activity.

Other research showed that frequent lucid dreaming is linked with increased functional connectivity between the left anterior prefrontal cortex and bilateral middle temporal gyrus, right inferior frontal gyrus, and bilateral angular gyrus.

Conclusion

The part of the brain responsible for active life grows in people who experience frequent lucid dreams. There is a direct relationship between recurring lucid dreams and increased functional activity of the brain. You can practice specific techniques to induce more lucid dreams.