Lucid Dreaming: Neural Correlates and Practical Applications


  • Klára Ertl FPN, Maastricht University


Lucid Dreaming, consciousness, sleep


Lucid dreaming refers to realizing that one is dreaming while still in the dream. The prevalence is at least 17%, however little is known about the neural correlates and the practical utility of lucid dreams. The present review aims to fill this gap by reviewing evidence regarding these two areas of research. During lucid dreaming the frontal cortex becomes reactivated, which is not the case in normal REM sleep. This leads to executive functioning being present to some extent while asleep. There is more power in high frequencies and more coherence, which might make lucid dreaming a different brain state. It can be useful for solving creative problems, practicing skills, self-development and improving mental well-being. Many limitations need to be addressed in further research, such as small sample size and some neglected distinctions. As we will learn more about lucid dreaming, we will be able to study the link between neural correlates and applications, learn more about the brain and consciousness, and perhaps use it in therapy.