Can lucid dreaming improve your sports skills?
Scientific studies suggest that it is possible to improve physical skills and abilities by practicing them while we sleep. Research published by The Journal of Sports Sciences has proven that real life improvements in motor skills can be brought about by practicing them while we sleep during lucid dreaming. The Sports Techie community blog is a believer in the power of the brain to unleash hidden abilities affecting sport performance. Who would have thought that it is actually possible to work out during our sleep and see real life improvements from it! This article will take a brief look at this fascinating discovery and see how it is possible to improve your sporting ability through lucid dreaming. Can technology such as machines or apps to help achieve the lucid dream state be that far behind?
What is lucid dreaming?
Lucid dreaming put simply is the ability to become self-aware during a dream, to the extent that you realize that you are dreaming. Once you have achieved this state of conscious awareness in your dream it is then possible to manipulate and control your dream as you wish. So if you like the idea of being able to practice or refine a new routine or a particular motor skill while you sleep, then lucid dreaming could be the answer.
Think the movie, “Inception” starring Leonardo Dicaprio only visualize performing sport activities while in a dream state.
Self-induced lucid dreaming
While lucid dreaming can occur spontaneously for some people, it is also possible to learn how to self-induce lucid dreaming. Now that the benefits of lucid dreaming in improving our physical abilities have been confirmed, it is likely that lucid dream induction will be the target of future scientific research, in order to allow for reliable and consistent ways to get large numbers of people participating in studies and reaping the benefits. What follows after that are advanced technologies in new products designed to help athletes achieve this state of mind while sleeping.
The link between lucid dreaming and motor learning
Lucid dreaming may even be better than the mental rehearsal of different movements, although this has not yet been fully supported scientifically. This is thought to be due to an increase in brain activity during lucid dreaming in the part of the brain responsible for controlling physical movement; the sensorimotor cortex.
Research shows that the neural mechanisms responsible for creating physical movement are strikingly similar whether you are awake, using your imagination or lucid dreaming. It was revealed by a brain imaging study that brain activity in the sensorimotor cortex is very similar during both lucid dreamed and imagined movement. The activity in the sensorimotor cortex during these states is evidence that motor learning had occurred.
Lucid dream practice and improved performance
One study involved people practicing throwing a coin into a pot both while awake and while lucid dreaming. Those who had practiced the maneuver during lucid dreaming showed a significant improvement in performing the maneuver while awake. This study also showed that as predicted, practicing the maneuver in waking life is the best way to learn a new motor skill and improve at it, as the greatest improvement in this motor skill was found in those who had continued to practice while awake. But what it did show is that practicing a motor skill while lucid dreaming also results in an improvement in waking performance.
Possible uses of lucid dreaming in sports and healthcare
Lucid dreaming could provide a safe testing ground for someone wishing to learn or improve a range of different motor skills and abilities. It also provides a good opportunity to practice a maneuver that could potentially be quite dangerous such as many of those found in extreme sports. It could even have some practical usage for people in physical rehabilitation from a sports injury.
Sports Techie, I am educated guessing that youth are potentially better at achieving this Zen like state of brain than adults are just like it is easier for most kids to learn a foreign language. Como no!
I often dreamt as a kid of dunking a basketball, developing a baseball and softball home run, or a hole-in-one golf swing, and running as fast as I could when playing sports of all kinds. Perhaps as a adult it’s dreaming of that perfect tennis shot, performing a ski , snowboard or nordic move in the snow, and mastering proper swim strokes. Maybe you have experienced this phenomenon while asleep as well. It doesn’t matter if you are a man or woman, boy or girl, young, in your prime or elderly, lucid dreaming seems to help all.
Do you need tech to master lucid dream control?
Probably not but it sure can help.
See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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