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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Does lucid dreaming interfere with REM sleep cycles?

    OK, So I started Lucid Dreaming several years ago; not every night, mainly on weekends. Entering the dream state by mnemonic induction.
    What I want to know, I guess, is, am I still getting a full nights rest whilst I lucid dream?
    I figure that the brain is still active, so maybe not.

    Any experts advice would be appreciated, as well as anyone who may have found out the answer previously, elsewhere.
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 3


    Dr Jeremy Adams


    Dr. Jeremy Adams has a multidimensional background that includes a Ph.D. in Sport and Exercise psychology, a clinical postdoctoral fellowship in Chemical Dependency, and a … View Profile

    Good question! REM sleep stands for Rapid Eye Movement sleep, and is representative of a dreaming state. By definition if you're dreaming, lucid or not, you're in REM sleep and not interfering with it.

    Your brain is active during REM sleep - it's the time when it processes experiences from the previous day and stores memories - the activation is interpreted by the prefrontal lobes as input that it tries to make sense of - hence dreaming. 

    The main question is whether you're feeling rested after your lucid dreaming sleep. If not, you're not getting the benefit that sleep is supposed to give oyu, and your lucid dreaming might actually be counterproductive.

  • spiiro

    HealthShare Member

    Hi Dr.
    Thanx for your response.
    Answers my question completely.

    Tim :-)

  • 3


    Dr Sarah Visser

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Dr. Sarah Visser is a registered clinical psychologist who specialises in adult individual therapy. An experienced practitioner in a variety of areas such as depression, … View Profile

    Lucid dreaming is poorly understood, but it is thought to occur during normal REM sleep and have similar properties to REM.
    However, during lucid dreaming parts of the brain usually deactivated during REM sleep (e.g., the prefrontal cortex) are reactivated.
    This allows the lucid dreamer to have consciousness over their dreams. It is somewhat of a hybrid between REM sleep and being awake.
    It could be conceptualised as another form of REM sleep, rather than a distinct or separate interfering sleep cycle. (“Neural correlates of dream lucidity obtained from contrasting lucid versus non-lucid REM sleep: a combined EEG/fMRI case study”.
    Dresler M, Wehrle R, Spoormaker VI, Koch SP, Holsboer F, Steiger A, Obrig H, Sämann PG, Czisch M. Sleep. 2012 July 1; 35(7): 1017–1020.)

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