#059: Lucid Dreaming with Dr. Deirdre Barrett

January 08, 2015

Jesse speaks with Dr. Deirdre Barrett, Author, Psychologist and world-leading dream expert. Dr. Barrett shares with us the ins and outs of lucid dreaming – what lucidity is, how to achieve it, and how the ability can be used as part of our cognitive toolkits.

We’ll also hear about a newly developed early-detection method for Alzheimer’s disease, and find out why we should think twice before feeding children fast food.

PS: Still awake? Sign up for our mailing list for more of the stuff neuroscience-dreams are made of.

Show Notes
  • 00:00:40

    What are lucid dreams?

  • 00:01:44

    This Week in Neuroscience: New Non-Invasive Method For Alzheimer's Detection

  • 00:04:37

    iTunes Review thank-yous (and a little heads-up!)

  • 00:06:18

    The Wahls Protocol by Dr. Terry Wahls – now in paperback!

  • 00:06:46

    Introduction to Dr. Deirdre Barrett and lucid dreaming

  • 00:09:03

    Are there any ways of knowing – from a scientific perspective – if someone is lucid dreaming?

  • 00:10:47

    Why don't we move while we sleep?

  • 00:12:35

    What's going on in the brains of sleepwalkers?

  • 00:13:46

    How to use lucid dreaming as a cognitive tool

  • 00:15:42

    Do people ever get "stuck" in lucid dreams?

  • 00:17:30

    Techniques to achieve lucidity

  • 00:20:43

    Differences in dream-state abilities based on expertise in waking life

  • 00:22:02

    What are dreams like for people who are born blind vs those who go blind later in life?

  • 00:23:35

    More cues and "reality checks" to help you realize you're dreaming

  • 00:27:56

    Time perception within dreams and REM sleep cycles

  • 00:30:36

    Can lucid dreaming lose its appeal?

  • 00:32:57

    Commonalities in people who can reach lucidity easily

  • 00:34:07

    Technical ways to induce lucidity during sleep

  • 00:36:56

    Jesse's "reality check" method

  • 00:37:59

    Ruthless Listener-Retention Gimmick: New Evidence That Fast Food Slows The Brain


  1. Martha says:

    When I was a teenager I used to sleep all the time because I loved to have lucid dreams. I remember thinking “why should I go out with my friends when I can go to sleep and fly around the world, see amazing places, eat delicious desserts, make out with anyone I like, breathe under water, etc”. But I was very depressed in the “real life”. Now, 10 years later, the only time I have lucid dreams are when I’m surrounded by zombies and there’s no way out, I think “hey this is a dream, you can fly”.

    1. Jesse Lawler says:

      Martha — Glad to hear your real life has taken a turn for the better. And at least Lucid Dreams are still useful as an “escape hatch” in case of zombie apocalypse. 🙂

  2. ben says:

    I wonder what Dr. Barrett thinks of devices like the Remee, aurora, NovaDreamer, etc.

    Supposedly, they can indicate (via led) when you are dreaming, but not sure how since they don’t seem to be monitoring brain waves nor detecting eye motion. Hopefully more products like these will come out, although, I’ve been burn’t before (not literally) with sleep devices that stop working when the company goes under (myzeo).

    Also, it would be interesting if she has any thoughts on how to maximize deep sleep delta stages. Not sure the physiological implications, but imagine the productivity one could have if you only needed a couple hours of sleep a night!

    BTW, watching Dr. Barrett’s TedTalk, she kind of looks like UFC Straweight contender Karolina Kowalkiewicz!

    1. ben says:

      There’s a Kickstarter campaign for ‘The Lucid Dreamer’ currently underway that does work off eeg!

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