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Lucid Dreaming 2012 survey results


As you might remember, I started a survey back in September, so after letting it run for two months (sorry for the huge delay!), I finally got around to compile the results. Just a heads-up though, this was my first survey, and I really apologize, but I've screwed up a bit - some options were wrong, some were redundant, some were missing... I detail how exactly the data might be misleading in the report, but now let's get to the data.

Demographical data

The subreddit is composed demographically pretty much the same as the rest of reddit.

Most people are male,

the average age is slightly lower, with most people being in the 15-18 years range (here's my screw up #1, it shouldn't probably say 0-10, but that doesn't matter in the end at all) :

and the majority of people on /r/LucidDreaming are from North America, with Europe behind, and finally Australia:

Subreddit specifics

There are three big groups that are pretty much equal, and that's the people who found out about us because of the name, by typing "/r/LucidDreaming" into the address bar, then the people who found out about us because of the ad we ran for a while (and had to cut short because the increase in popularity was pretty overwhelming), and those who found out about us from an unrelated subreddit.

Some entries from "Other" include: "Google", "Random button", "/r/all", "/r/new", "subreddit menu in Reddit is Fun", "don't remember", and most amusingly: "Saw one of Theon's other posts, Followed his account to Lucid Dreaming".

Screw-up #2: I only had a field for "if you've found about us from a related subreddit", so a lot of people ended up typing "/r/AskReddit" or "/r/fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu", or whatever into it. I don't think I can use those entries, if only some people entered them in, I should have made a separate field for unrelated subreddits. Anyway, after filtering out the unrelated subreddits, there are about 10 entries, 6 of them unique: astralprojectionnow, lucid, psychonaut, ragedreams, sleep and sleepparalysis. It might be worth checking them out :)

Most people have been here for 2-4 months, which I think is roughly about the time the ad was running, but there's still a fair amount of complete newcomers and regulars:

It's not that even with the discovery of lucid dreaming itself - the largest group is the "I just randomly stumbled over it" one, which isn't exactly surprising - but the "Someone told me about it" received just a little over 13%. Guys, don't be afraid to share your lucid dreaming knowledge! :)

The other category is mostly things like "had a lucid dream when I was young" (which falls under the "I had a lucid dream naturally"), or simply other sources, like "9gag post", or "batman cartoon" (what?).

Lucid dreaming statistics

Now this is pretty interesting: there's a pretty large amount of people who had a lucid dream before knowing what it is (in fact, it's even bigger than the group of people who haven't had a lucid dream before!) I kind of suspected it's that way, but actually seeing it's correct is cool. Just more of a reason to tell your friends about lucid dreaming :)

And regarding the amount of lucid dreams people had... Screw-up #3: The 1-4 option originally said 0-4, and while I do have faith in /r/LucidDreaming subscribers that they saw through my clumsiness and selected the "0" option if they had no lucid dreams instead of the "0-4", but the huge discrepancy between what I'd expect the 1-4 group to be like and what it is makes me a bit worried that it might have skewed the data.

One interesting thing is that while you'd expect the amount of lucid dreams to gradually decrease, there's a distinct peak at ">100" - which probably means there are some people for whom lucid dreaming is simply natural. Again, not entirely surprising, but it's cool anyway. confirmed by the next question. Screw-up #4: "DILD". DILD is a category of techniques which make you lucid in the dream (as opposed to starting out awake, which is called WILD), which includes MILD, RCs, etc., I meant to put "LILD" there. It didn't probably skew the data that much, as it was a checkbox question, so if someone knew what DILD was, they selected both MILD and DILD (as evidenced by them being the two most popular methods), and if they didn't, they selected just MILD - so I suppose that the results of that option can be safely ignored.

A lot of people apparently didn't use a technique for their first lucid dream (curse you, naturals!), and then it pretty much mirrors the popularity of the techniques.

Out of the "Other" category, the most interesting one is probably "MAM: multiple alarm method. I hit my snooze repeatedly and slip off into numerous lucid dreams.", that was one I really haven't heard of before (though I suppose it's a form of WILD). Otherwise it was mostly just notes like "None yet" (my fault, should have put there an option for that), or techniques that fall under the options I put above.

Again, a big amount of people who just had a lucid dream naturally, and for people who actively tried to have their first lucid dream, the peak is at 2-3 weeks. So that's when you might expect to have your first lucid dream, but don't give up even after! :)

(Note to self: The amount of people who had their first lucid dreams after 3-6 months of trying is not completely negligible, I should have put there an option for ">6 months")

The popularity of reality checks varies, the most notoriously well known one is the "Do I have 5 fingers?".

The really interesting thing is the "Others" entry. Some Reality Checks I haven't thought of: "Is the sky blue?", "Push finger through hand", "Can I teleport?", "Check my tattoo", "Pushing walls", "Pinching myself", etc. A roughly processed list of other methods here.

The majority of people don't keep a dream journal (come on guys, it really helps and it's fun to read!), and those who do, they do it roughly for up to half a year.

There's a slightly bigger number of people who haven't experienced sleep paralysis, and the majority of people aren't afraid of it (which is good, because it's really nothing dangerous :))

I think it might be interesting to discern also people who experienced sleep paralysis unrelated to lucid dreaming next time.


You're mostly happy with how we moderate, and would give the subreddit a 4 out of 5. That's an enjoyable result, I think :)

Also, none of the "Anything else you'd like to tell us?" messages were left unread, thanks for all the kind words and feedback :)

Parting words

And that concludes the 2012 survey (yes, that implies there will be more - I'd like to do one completely properly, but it won't likely be very soon). I personally enjoyed looking through (I hope you share my enthusiasm for statistics), and I learned some new things, so I suppose this survey was a success :)

Just a disclaimer: I have no idea if I didn't interpret something incorrectly, or overlooked something, I just summarized what I saw in the graphs. Also, there might be some interesting correlations hidden (like what reality checks are popular with experienced lucid dreamers, et cetera), but I sadly admit I have no idea how to do that - if anyone knows, please message me, or give the data a shot yourself:

Raw unedited spreadsheet, Graphs album

Sweet dreams!

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