Lucid dreaming refers to such dreams in which you become self-aware and are able to control them. A new experiment at J.W. Goethe University in Germany reveals that electrical stimulation can be used to induce such lucid dreaming.
The research in Frankfurt, Germany was led by Ursula Woss. During the experiment, researchers brought together a team of 27 volunteers. These volunteers were then monitored for four nights, their sleep altered subtly to try and induce lucid dreaming. For this, an electric pulse of a certain frequency range was supplied to every volunteer’s body each night.
This electric pulse was sent to the subjects’ bodies two to three minutes into their REM sleep cycle. The REM cycle is the portion of the sleep when we usually dream. After supplying the electric current, the volunteers were woken a while later and asked a number of questions. These questions primarily determined whether or not a given subject had a conscious knowledge of a dream while having it.
According to the findings of the experiment, a low gamma range of 40Hz of electricity may be the right amount to induce lucid dreaming. This range resulted in stimulation in the largest number of subjects. Another frequency which induced lucid dreaming, if only less successfully, was found to be 25Hz. These results show that there may be a way of more clearly manipulating dreams through such external stimuli.
An interesting part of the results was that 25-Hz frequency induces a kind of lucid dreaming activity that is markedly different from that induced at 40Hz. In other words, although both frequencies induce a more conscious version of dreaming, sometimes with the ability to control the dream, they both affect our dreams differently.