Skip to main content

Forget nausea and sweating — a side effect of this drug is lucid dreaming

As drug side effects go, letting people control their dreams is certainly a whole lot better than nausea, constipation, or any of the usual things you might associate with the secondary effects of medication. That’s exactly what researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have been exploring — by looking at an Alzheimer’s drug that turns out to also trigger lucid dreaming.

The drug in question is called galantamine and is normally used for the treatment of cognitive decline in mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, along with assorted other memory impairments. But it transpires that it can also be paired with cognitive training techniques to promote lucid dreaming. This refers to dreams during which the dreamer knows that they are dreaming and can exhibit some measure of control. This is because galantamine can trigger rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the sleep phase during which dreams are most likely to take place.

The researchers in the study found that more than 40 percent of individuals could have a lucid dream in a single nap. This was the case even when the individuals had never had a lucid dream before in their entire lives.

“While more studies are needed, this finding has the potential to open lucid dreaming up to a wider population,” Benjamin Baird, a researcher on the project, told Digital Trends. “As lucid dreams spontaneously occur very infrequently for most people, what has been sought for a long time is a way to make lucid dreams more accessible, which would open this up as a new domain for exploration for all. Additionally, one of the major limiting factors for scientific research on lucid dreams has been their infrequency, so we hope that this could help to facilitate scientific research on lucid dreaming and consciousness in general.”

Going forward, Baird said that one future direction for the research will involve measuring the changes which occur in the brain with galantamine, in order to learn about how this effect occurs. “By comparing lucid to non-lucid dreams we might be able to achieve some new insights into the neurological underpinnings of the unique form of self-awareness possessed by humans,” he said.

A paper describing the work was recently published in the journal PLoS One.

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
Meet the game-changing pitching robot that can perfectly mimic any human throw
baseball hitter swings and misses

Who’s your favorite baseball pitcher? Shane McClanahan? Sandy Alcantara? Justin Verlander? Whoever you said, two of the top sports-tech companies in the U.S. -- Rapsodo and Trajekt Sports -- have teamed up to build a robot version of them, and the results are reportedly uncannily accurate.

Okay, so we’re not talking about walking-talking-pitching standalone robots, as great a sci-fi-tinged MLB ad as that would be. However, Rapsodo and Trajekt have combined their considerable powers to throw a slew of different technologies at the problem of building a machine that's able to accurately simulate the pitching style of whichever player you want to practice batting against -- and they may just have pulled it off, too.

Read more
The best portable power stations
EcoFlow DELTA 2 on table at campsite for quick charging.

Affordable and efficient portable power is a necessity these days, keeping our electronic devices operational while on the go. But there are literally dozens of options to choose from, making it abundantly difficult to decide which mobile charging solution is best for you. We've sorted through countless portable power options and came up with six of the best portable power stations to keep your smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other gadgets functioning while living off the grid.
The best overall: Jackery Explorer 1000

Jackery has been a mainstay in the portable power market for several years, and today, the company continues to set the standard. With three AC outlets, two USB-A, and two USB-C plugs, you'll have plenty of options for keeping your gadgets charged.

Read more
CES 2023: HD Hyundai’s Avikus is an A.I. for autonomous boat and marine navigation
Demonstration of NeuBoat level 2 autonomous navigation system at the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

This content was produced in partnership with HD Hyundai.
Autonomous vehicle navigation technology is certainly nothing new and has been in the works for the better part of a decade at this point. But one of the most common forms we see and hear about is the type used to control steering in road-based vehicles. That's not the only place where technology can make a huge difference. Autonomous driving systems can offer incredible benefits to boats and marine vehicles, too, which is precisely why HD Hyundai has unveiled its Avikus AI technology -- for marine and watercraft vehicles.

More recently, HD Hyundai participated in the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, to demo its NeuBoat level 2 autonomous navigation system for recreational boats. The name mashes together the words "neuron" and "boat" and is quite fitting since the Avikus' A.I. navigation tech is a core component of the solution, it will handle self-recognition, real-time decisions, and controls when on the water. Of course, there are a lot of things happening behind the scenes with HD Hyundai's autonomous navigation solution, which we'll dive into below -- HD Hyundai will also be introducing more about the tech at CES 2023.

Read more