Mind & Brain See Inside Lucid Dream Analysis Could Ease Anxiety Becoming aware of your sleeping self could relieve anxiety or tap the creative unconscious By Ursula Voss WITH LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY Getty Images I moved my eyes, and I realized that I was asleep in bed. When I saw the beautiful landscape start to blur, I thought to myself, “This is my dream; I want it to stay!” And the scene reappeared. Then I thought to myself how nice it would be to gallop through this landscape. I got myself a horse ... I could feel myself riding the horse and lying in bed at the same time. So recounted a test subject in the sleep laboratory at the University of Bonn in Germany. This particular sleeper was having a lucid dream, in which the dreamer recognizes that he or she is dreaming and can sometimes influence the course of the dream. By measuring the brain waves of lucid dreamers, my colleagues and I are gaining a better understanding of the neural processes underlying this state of consciousness that exists between sleep and waking. In addition to providing clues about the nature of consciousness, research on lucid dreams is also beginning to suggest new ways to treat anxiety and learn complex movements while asleep. This is only a preview. Get the rest of this article now! Select an option below: Buy Digital Issue Customer Sign In *You must have purchased this issue or have a qualifying subscription to access this content It has been identified that the institution you are trying to access this article from has institutional site license access to Scientific American on nature.com. Click here to access this article in its entirety through site license access. ADVERTISEMENT Scientific American is a trademark of Scientific American, Inc., used with permission © 2015 Scientific American, a Division of Nature America, Inc. All Rights Reserved.