Inception is a fantasy, but Britain’s leading authority on dreaming said that the incidence of lucid dreaming seems to have increased over the last few years.
Professor Mark Blagrove, a psychologist who runs a sleep laboratory at the University of Swansea, said that according to studies the number of people in Western societies who experienced a lucid dream had increased by between 10 and 40 per cent since the 1980s. The most recent research suggests that about eight out of ten people will have a lucid dream in their lives.
It appears that “people’s abilities during dreaming are altering” as they become more adept at recognising that they are able to control their dreams, Professor Blagrove said. Work at centres such as Swansea is slowly building a picture of what might be happening during these dreams and what secrets about the uncharted subconscious they could yield.
Although lucid dreams were identified and named by the Dutch psychologist Frederik van Eeden in 1913 and dreaming groups have been springing up for years, they are still controversial among scientists because they are difficult to monitor and evaluate.
However, in response to recent progress in the field, The New Scientist said in a June editorial that “the study of lucid dreaming has been seen as a fringe activity for too long”.
We here at TDG are more than happy to embrace fringe activities though, and I’m happy to report that Daily Grail Publishing will soon be issuing a revised and updated edition of Paul Devereux’s excellent book on the topic, The Lucid Dreaming Handbook. If you’re looking to learn more about lucid dreaming, and how to do it yourself, make sure you wait for this one…it’s definitely one for any Grailer’s bookshelf.