The Science & Psychology Of Lucid Dreaming

What Do We Really Know About Dreaming?

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Dr. Surita Rao, Director of Psychiatry, St. Francis Behavioral Health Group
Photo:Chion Wolf
The Science & Psychology Of Lucid Dreaming
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The Science & Psychology Of Lucid Dreaming

The Grinch of dreaming is J. Allan Hobson.

Starting in the 1970s, Hobson - a Harvard psychiatrist and dream researcher - led a movement against Freud's notion of dreams as a secret garden of trauma, drama and hidden meaning. 
Hobson called this "the mystique of fortune cookie dream interpretation." 
Hobson's unromantic argument, if I understand it correctly, is that sleep ushers in a lot of pretty random brain activity - none of it full of meaning - and that the forebrain clumsily attempts to make sense of what is essentially a meaningless core dump of images and half-thoughts.
Today on the show, we'll talk to dream theorists who are prepared to go well beyond Hobson.
High on the menu for today is the notion of lucid dreaming, in which the dreamer is able to steer the direction of his or her dream, possibly even gaining insights and solving problems.
Email your comments to or tweet us @wnprcolin. 



Cindy writes:

I was diagnosed w/ sleep apnea after lab somnogram, used CPAP machine (mask to regulate breathing), felt better all around, but most important, lifelong depression lifted. Psychiatrist & therapist support idea that being able to stay asleep and to complete dreaming during REM periods was the key.

Beth writes:

I was listening to your show today (11/26) and thought you might be interested in a book called Creative Dreaming by Patricia Garfield. The books speaks about controlling your dreams and about cultures that teach their children to do this. Very interesting stuff. I read this book for a college course in the late 70's.

Love your show