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Can we use lucid dreaming to improve ourselves?

Jane Davids 

Lucid dreaming has become a hot topic in recent times as a result of more research and studies being carried out, with the view to identifying different ways in which lucid dreaming could be of benefit. The findings highlight a number of different ways in which lucid dreaming can be harnessed for self-improvement, this article will look at some of the results of the latest research.

Improved motor learning

Lucid dreaming refers to achieving a state of conscious awareness while dreaming, resulting in the ability to manipulate and control your dreams. Some interesting research has shown that the neural mechanisms in the brain responsible for physical movement show activity during a lucid dream, in fact, the brain activity in these regions are strikingly similar during imagined, dreamt and actual waking life physical movement. 

Practice a new skill

This means that practicing a new motor skill during a lucid dream can help improve your waking ability, and nearly all activity involves a certain degree and range of motor skills. However, researchers believe that practicing new motor skills associated with different sports while you sleep is particularly effective and could have many uses

It provides an opportunity to practice any maneuvers that could potentially be dangerous such as those found in extreme sports, and some physicians are currently looking into ways in which lucid dreaming could be harnessed to help people who are in physical rehabilitation from a sports injury. Therefore, athletes, in particular, could stand to benefit from practicing and improving motor skills associated with their sport when lucid dreaming.

Learning a new language

Research shows that learning a second language brings many cognitive benefits such as improved memory, problem-solving ability, and critical thinking skills, some studies show that learning a new language could even delay the onset of dementia

However, most people would agree that learning a new language is a big commitment that requires a significant time investment, patience and perseverance. So the revelation that it is possible to build fluency in a language while asleep could make language learning seem like a much more viable enterprise for those with very busy schedules. 

Lucid dream practice will build language fluency

Actively using a language and applying newly learned grammar rules in different contexts is the cornerstone of building fluency. It is common for people learning a new language to start dreaming in the language, which can give a confidence boost as well as improve waking ability. 

However, practicing during lucid dreaming is more effective as you are able to control what language you use and in which contexts. Lucid dream practice will also result in better memory retention and recall than normal dreaming, which can help someone to further internalize and embed new language. If you are learning a language with a completely different writing system such as Arabic, Chinese or Japanese, then practicing writing during a lucid dream will aid in the development of the new motor skills required to use the new writing system.

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