Using Supplements to Hack the Neurochemistry of Dreaming
In a lucid dream, we are fully conscious and aware that we are dreaming —we experience an immersive ”virtual reality” light years ahead of anything possible with today’s technology. Somewhere between 20 to 80 percent of the population (depending on the study) have stumbled into this realm spontaneously, unintentionally. But groups of experimentalists are industriously researching how to produce them at will. Their results and techniques have advanced considerably in the last several years, much further than the simple “keep a dream journal” and “ask yourself if you are dreaming during the day.”
The “agile scientists” of lucid dreaming are less concerned with building theories. Or securing funding. Instead, they are focused on leveraging emergent models of the mind and dream state to more immediate ends. Their peer reviews are forums, blogs and feed-streams. A community builds on what is shared, reports their experiences and modifies procedures to increase their effectiveness. These social networks are less controlled than a sleep lab, for example, trying to isolate a single variable. But they represent the iteration of hundreds of thousands of trials and the inventiveness of passionate researchers concentrating on results.