Want to Lucid Dream? Hit the Snooze Button

iStock / iStock

Training yourself to do something while you’re asleep is a lot easier said than done. For instance, lucid dreaming—in which you know you’re dreaming and can on some level control how the dream proceeds—is more difficult than just willing yourself to remember that you’re asleep. Many lucid dreaming techniques recommend waking up during various parts of the night, and according to a new study, that’s not a bad idea.

In a study in the journal Dreaming, a pair of psychological researchers from the Sleep Laboratory at Swansea University in the UK report that people who hit their alarm clock’s snooze button more often tend to have more lucid dreams. A total of 84 participants between the ages of 18 and 75 filled out an online survey about their alarm clock usage and the frequency of their lucid dreams, if they had any. The participants were recruited through online forums on dreaming, although some reported never having succeeded in having a lucid dream.

The researchers found a significant relationship between how often people snoozed and how often they remembered dreams and experienced lucid dreams. While it could be that people who snooze a lot and people who lucid dream a lot have some unknown quality in common, there’s also a possibility that being briefly awoken by an alarm before going back to sleep might put your brain in the right mode to lucid dream, such as by producing rapid eye movement sleep (REM), a sleep stage that has been linked to lucid dreaming.

[h/t: BPS Research Digest]