Lucid dreaming as treatment for nightmares

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People who are plagued by disturbing nightmares can learn to control and greatly diminish their effect by developing lucid dreaming skills. A scientific study performed in 2006 showed that lucid dreaming could be used to reduce the frequency of nightmares, resulting in improved sleep for patients. Successful treatment came from training in lucidity skills and mnemonic lucid dream initiation, the technique in which a person resolves to have lucid dreams while awake. Then by becoming lucid during the dream a patient was much less frightened and traumatized by the nightmare. Greater continuity of restful sleep and a reduction in number of nightmares were achieved.

In some cases frequent and extreme nightmares are an indication of, or accompanied by, other serious issues. Lucid dreaming was shown to have an overall beneficial effect for patients of Australian psychologist Milan Colic who were suffering from depression, self-mutilation, and other problems in waking life. He found that experiences and understandings gained in lucid dreams could be invoked in waking life to help them deal with difficult situations and achieve success in their preferred lifes’ direction. The key is to develop lucid dreaming skills that you can apply yourself.

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