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Dreams Do Come True: Sporting Perfomance Can Be Improved In Dreams
Dreams Do Come True: Sporting Perfomance Can Be Improved In Dreams

If you dream it you can be it, this old saying has proven to be true in the world of physical fitness.

Sport scientists believe that sporting performance can be improved in dreams.

It comes down to lucid dreaming, essentially the sort of dream you have while fast asleep but in which you aware you are dreaming and can thus control your dream world.

Research has for some time noted a link between lucid dreaming during REM sleep and improved athletic performance, but had never isolated the reason why.

Now new research by Heidelberg University, shows that the improvement stems from the fact that your mind believes you are practising the sport for real.

Sportsmen and women who have engaged in training while they sleep have described enhanced performance after practising such things as a complex move, a tricky shot in basketball or a free kick in football over and over again.

Others have controlled their dreams to make themselves run faster, or for longer without tiring, or simply told themselves they can move past feelings of exhaustion to carry on running.

One ballerina in the study describes struggling with a complicated move for some time before 'sleep practising' it - and found she could then perform it in real life too. 

Previous research has proved that lucid dreamers are indeed asleep, but are aware that they are in a dream.

Dreamers have been able to signal to researchers from within their dream using pre-agreed eye movements. 

In the 1980s German psychologist Paul Tholey was the first to note the link between lucid dreaming and improved performance, and in 2010 psychologists Erlacher and Schredl showed that practising a coin tossing task in lucid dreams led to an improved objective performance. 

It all sounds too good to be true. But becoming an accomplished lucid dreamer is not necessarily easy.

If you do not naturally lucid dream it is possible to train yourself to do so.

The first step is to be able to recognise that you are in a dream once asleep, which some people attempt to do by performing ‘reality checks’ in a dream.

However it takes considerable training to be able to perform these within a dream.

Once aware you are dreaming, the dreamer must be cautious to let the dream continue but be conscious enough to remember that it is a dream.

However the benefits once mastered are said to be incredible with people not only being able to change nightmares into positive dreams and problem solve while asleep, but also report having immense fun.

Being able to control the dream world means people report enjoying anything from flying to making a cake as large as a house, indulging in sexual fantasies and curing nightmares.

The Daily mail


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