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Five research studies about lucid dreaming you should check out

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Lucid dreaming is often brushed aside as some “new-age” concept, dismissed by skeptics as a fanciful notion reserved for mystical thinkers and spiritual enthusiasts. However, the truth lies far from this misconception. Lucid dreaming is a scientifically recognized state of consciousness that opens doors to a rich and uncharted realm of the mind.

Dreams have long fascinated and mystified us, serving as a playground for our subconscious to roam freely. Lucid dreaming, in particular, adds a new dimension to this already enigmatic landscape.

In a lucid dream, the dreamer becomes acutely aware that they are, in fact, within a dream. What was once thought to be the domain of mystics and philosophers has found its place in the realm of empirical research.

In this article, I’ve listed five research studies that underscore the realness and potential of lucid dreaming.

These studies, grounded in scientific rigor, reveal that lucid dreaming is not just a product of the mystical imagination but a subject of in-depth study and untapped potential.

1. LaBerge (1980) – Lucid Dreaming: An Exploratory Study

In this pioneering study, Stephen LaBerge delved into the intriguing realm of lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is a state of sleep where individuals are aware that they are dreaming and can sometimes even control the content of their dreams. LaBerge explored this phenomenon and its implications.

He sought to understand what happens in the body during these dreams, using electroencephalography (EEG) and other physiological measurements to monitor the changes in brain activity and bodily functions during lucid dreaming.

Why I’ve included it in this list

This study is fascinating because it was one of the pioneering works in modern lucid dreaming. LaBerge’s research introduced the concept of lucid dreaming and explored what happens in our bodies during these unique dream states, shedding light on the physiological aspects of this phenomenon.


Citation: LaBerge, Stephen Philip. Lucid dreaming: An exploratory study of consciousness during sleep. Stanford University, 1980.

Link: Lucid dreaming: An exploratory study of consciousness during sleep

2. LaBerge and Levitan (1995) – Dream Light Cues for Lucid Dreaming

This study conducted by LaBerge and Levitan tested a unique approach to induce lucid dreams using a “dream light.” The dream light was a device designed to emit light cues during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phase of sleep, which is when most dreaming occurs.

The researchers aimed to investigate whether these cues could help individuals become aware that they were dreaming and potentially gain control over their dreams.

Why I’ve included it in this list

I’ve included this study because it goes into a practical approach to experiencing lucid dreams. The dream light cues is an interesting and creative technique for lucid dream induction that I would like to explore further.

Recommended further reading: What is REM-sleep and why does it matter for Lucid Dreaming?


Citation: LaBerge, Stephen, and Lynne Levitan. “Validity established of DreamLight cues for eliciting lucid dreaming.” Dreaming 5.3 (1995): 159.

Link: Validity established of DreamLight cues for eliciting lucid dreaming

3. Tholey (1983) – Techniques for Inducing and Manipulating Lucid Dreaming

Tholey’s work focused on different techniques for achieving lucid dreams. He discussed various methods and strategies for inducing and maintaining lucidity in dreams.

The study emphasized the role of reality testing and the power of one’s awareness in the dream state, providing valuable insights into the practice of lucid dreaming.

Why I’ve included it in this list

Tholey’s study is an excellent resource for our readers interested in the practical side of lucid dreaming. It provides insights into various techniques to induce and maintain lucidity in dreams, making it an essential reference for those looking to experiment with lucid dreaming.


Citation: Tholey, Paul. “Techniques for inducing and manipulating lucid dreams.” Perceptual and Motor Skills 57.1 (1983): 79-90.

Link: Techniques for inducing and manipulating lucid dreams.

4. LaBerge, Levitan, and Dement (1986) – Physiological Correlates of Lucid Dreaming

In this lucid dreaming study, researchers investigated the physiological changes that occur during lucid dreaming. They examined factors such as heart rate, eye movement, and brain activity to identify markers associated with lucid dreaming, aiming to shed light on the bodily processes that accompany these unique dream states.

Why I’ve included it in this list

This study helps us understand the physiological aspects of lucid dreaming. It’s interesting because it explores how our bodies change during these dreams, providing scientific insights into the physical aspects of this unique experience.


Citation: LaBerge, Stephen, Lynne Levitan, and William C. Dement. “Lucid dreaming: Physiological correlates of consciousness during REM sleep.” The journal of mind and behavior (1986): 251-258.

Link: Lucid dreaming: Physiological correlates of consciousness during REM sleep

5. Erlacher and Schredl (2004) – Lucid dreaming frequency and personality

In this study, Erlacher and Schredl delve into the intriguing world of lucid dreams. They explore how frequently individuals experience these dreams and whether there is a connection between the occurrence of lucid dreams and specific personality traits.

This research sheds light on the prevalence of lucid dreaming and its potential relationship with our personalities.

Why I’ve included it in this list

Erlacher and Schredl discovered that an astonishing 82% of the students they surveyed reported having experienced at least one lucid dream.

But what I find especially interesting is in the personality department. While some might have thought that being introverted or having low neuroticism would make you a lucid dreamer, these findings say otherwise.


Citation: Schredl, Michael, and Daniel Erlacher. “Lucid dreaming frequency and personality.” Personality and Individual Differences 37.7 (2004): 1463-1473.

Link: Lucid dreaming frequency and personality.


Lucid dreaming is a scientifically recognized state of consciousness where the dreamer is aware they are dreaming, and may even control the content of their dreams.

In this article I’ve listed five key research studies exploring lucid dreaming. LaBerge’s 1980 study first introduced lucid dreaming, using EEG to monitor brain activity during these dreams. His 1995 study, conducted with Levitan, investigated a dream light device designed to induce lucid dreams. Tholey’s 1983 study provided insights into various techniques for achieving lucid dreams. In 1986, LaBerge, Levitan, and Dement investigated physiological changes occurring during lucid dreaming, and Erlacher and Schredl’s 2004 study explored the frequency of lucid dreaming and possible links with personality traits.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this collection, and that it has been helpful to you in ‘reality checking’ your interest in lucid dreaming. Remember, this is only a few hand-picked studies about lucid dreaming. There are countless others out there waiting to be read, questioned and refined!

First time hearing about
lucid dreaming?

My name is Lucy, I’ve been a lucid dreamer since 2001. It all started when one of my friends told me about her lucid dream experiences.

The mere fact that she told me was enough, and that very night I became aware of the fact that I was dreaming while in my dream. Luciddreamhub.com is my attempt to do the same favour for all of my readers.

If this is the first time you’ve heard about lucid dreaming, and you want to find out more about how you can get started and leverage the benefits yourself, I recommend that you start by reading these:

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What is lucid dreaming?

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How to do lucid dreaming

Discover how to start dreaming lucidly, and start exploring your very own realm of dreams.

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Lucid dreaming techniques

Learn popular lucid dreaming techniques, and get started tonight.