Scientists Have Found a Reliable Way to Evoke Conscious Dreams
The most fantastic thing about conscious dreams is when the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming, but perceives everything that happens to them as absolutely realistic. Only half of all people have had a conscious dream experience at all in their lives, and attempts to induce this phenomenon have had mixed results before. But a 2018 study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Institute for Conscious Dreaming revealed one effective way to trigger the phenomenon.
An Alzheimer’s disease memory impairment drug known as galantamine is a fast-acting acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. It helps aggregate the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain, which is responsible for modulating REM sleep.
To study the drug’s effect on the ability to induce conscious dreams, 121 enthusiastic participants with a strong interest in the subject and mastery of the MILD – Mnemonic Induction of Conscious Dreams technique were selected. For three consecutive nights, subjects took different doses of the drug, starting with a placebo, then 4 mg and then 8 mg of galantamine on the last night. Each time, participants woke up 4.5 hours after lights out, performed a special technique to activate conscious sleep, swallowed the capsule, and went back to sleep.
Conclusion: Combining the MILD technique with the Alzheimer’s medication actually helps trigger conscious dreams in direct correlation to the strength of the result depending on the magnitude of the dose. Taking a placebo (0 mg galantamine + MILD) allowed 14% of participants to have a lucid dream, rising to 27% when taking 4 mg and 42% when taking 8 mg. At the moment, this regimen is one of the most effective techniques available for inducing lucid dreams. However, until more is known about its safety, it is not a good idea to experiment with galantamine on your own.