Could Lucid Dreaming Be the Next Treatment for PTSD?


via Could Lucid Dreaming Be the Next Treatment for PTSD? 

Written by Rachel Barclay

Published on May 20, 2014

Lucid dreaming gives dreamers a sense of self-awareness and control over their dreams. For people with PTSD who suffer from nightmares, lucid dreaming could be a promising treatment. Although philosophers and scientists have written about dreams for centuries, science is only just beginning to understand how dreams work in the brain. Lucid dreaming (LD), in which the dreamer is aware that he or she is dreaming and is able to manipulate the dream, is even less well understood. “Often during a LD, you can control dream events voluntarily, for example flying, or you can gain access to waking cognitive abilities that are not normally available, such as remembering events from the previous day,” explained Tore Nielsen, the director of the Dream and Nightmare Laboratory at Montreal’s Sacre-Coeur (Sacred Heart) Hospital and a professor of psychiatry at the University of Montreal, in an interview with Healthline. “In regular dreaming, you are not aware that you are dreaming, you are not usually in voluntary control of dream events, and you don’t usually have access to all your waking cognitive abilities.” Learn More About Sleep: Healthy Sleep 101 » A New Battleground: Dreams This dream control might be able to help people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) overcome nightmares. These can be frightening and overwhelming for anyone, but for people with PTSD, nightmares can be a way of reliving the events that first traumatized them. Every dream seems dangerous, and sleep becomes an ordeal rather than a refuge. (continued on site…)


About Tore Nielsen

Researcher at University of Montreal and Director of Dream & Nightmare Laboratory
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