For the best sleep, scientists say ‘control your dreams’

WASHINGTON – A good night’s sleep is one step closer to reality now that scientists say better Zs are as easy as controlling your dreams.

The feat is possible, according to Yahoo Health, and it can lead to less nightmares and better overall moods. In fact, new research shows that folks who remember their dreams can heal faster from depression and better diffuse negative emotions.

Yahoo’s report is based on a small study by the “Human Kinetics Journal.” Study participants practiced throwing dimes in a cup before bed and were then asked to practice the task in their dreams. In the morning, participants were asked to repeat the coin toss.

Seven of the study’s 20 participants reported lucid dreaming and performed better at dime-throwing after waking up.

Lucid dreaming is when the “dreamer is able to control the ongoing dream content and is free to do what he or she wants,” according to the study.

“The results of this study showed that rehearsing in a lucid dream enhances subsequent performance in wakefulness.”

Scientists estimate people forget more than 95 percent of what they dream, and most of the loss occurs within 10 minutes of waking up, according to Yahoo.

The study found that dreams can be considered a kind of simulation of the real world, which means working through them may help to sort out difficult emotions.

WTOP’s Megan Cloherty contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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