A resurgence of neurobiological and clinical research is currently underway into the therapeutic potential of serotonergic or ‘classical’ psychedelics, such as the prototypical psychedelic drug lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin (4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine), and ayahuasca – a betacarboline- and dimethyltryptamine (DMT)-containing Amazonian beverage. However, the mechanisms of therapeutic action are still not fully explained. Given that an altered state of consciousness is a common denominator that characterizes all classical psychedelics and given that both rapid eye movement sleep (REMS) and psychedelics modulate perception, mental imagery, emotion activation, fear memory extinction, and sense of self and body, in the present article, these two states of consciousness are systematically compared, and therapeutically relevant conclusions are drawn based on available evidence.
Kraehenmann, R. (2017). Dreams and psychedelics: neurophenomenological comparison and therapeutic implications. Current neuropharmacology. 10.2174/1573413713666170619092629