Using an Eye Pillow When Sleeping Can Stimulate Lucid Dreaming
Have you ever been in a dream and realized you were dreaming? This is called a “lucid dream.” Those who’ve experienced it say you can control what happens in the dream world. People have reported flying, walking through walls, meeting celebrities and deceased loved ones—the possibilities seem endless.
All of this is pretty mystical, but research has shown that lucid dreaming can have benefits in the waking world. In this post, we consider these benefits and how wearing an eye pillow when sleeping can stimulate lucid dreaming.
Benefits of Lucid Dreaming
Let’s briefly go over some of the research showing how lucid dreaming stimulates creativity, may improve physical ability, and helps to reduce the frequency of nightmares. Then, we consider how using an eye pillow when sleeping stimulates lucid dreaming.
A 2014 study by P. Bourke and H. Shaw shows that “frequent lucid dreamers solve significantly more insight problems overall than non-lucid dreamers.” Insight problems are those that require novel ways of thinking to be solved, which means lucid dreaming stimulates creativity.
Lucid dreaming may also improve physical ability. A 2010 study by D. Erlacher and M. Shredl had 40 participants toss coins into coffee cups after physically practicing the toss, practicing in a lucid dream, or doing nothing to prepare. Both the physical practice group and the lucid dream practice group “had statistically significant higher improvements in contrast to the non-dreaming group.”
Finally, a 2006 study by V.I. Spoormaker and J. Van den Bout argues that lucid dreaming “seems effective in reducing nightmare frequency.” This is a crucial therapeutic benefit if we are to believe research showing that childhood nightmares and other forms of being roused during sleep may indicate “susceptibility to psychotic experiences.”
How Your Sleep Mask Can Help You Have Lucid Dreams
Various studies by Stephen LaBerge show that lucid dreaming tends to occur during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep. Since sleep masks block out light and aid the conversion of serotonin into melatonin, using an eye pillow when sleeping helps you enter the REM stage faster, and prevents light-based interruptions in the process. This also means that once you enter the REM stage, your eye pillow will help keep you sleeping and dreaming for longer.
Even if your sleep is interrupted, an eye pillow may help with dream recollection. Lucid dreaming enthusiasts say that stimulation of the optic nerve on waking is what keeps us from remembering our dreams. So whether you want to dream faster, longer, or more memorably, wearing an eye pillow when sleeping can help.
Further, your sleep mask is useful for a version of the “am I dreaming?” test to trigger lucid dreaming: if you wake up with the mask on, you’ve truly woken up, whereas if you “wake up” and aren’t wearing a sleep mask, you can realize you’re still dreaming. This is known as a false awakening.
Wearing an eye pillow when sleeping can stimulate lucid dreaming, which we’ve shown has health benefits. Lucid dreaming not only helps with creativity, skill development, and nightmares—for some, it also leads to more restful sleep. We hope this post has piqued your interest about the benefits of lucid dreaming, and how using an eye pillow when sleeping can help.