You’ve heard of those people who go to bed with headphones on and a calming voice telling them to quit smoking, right? Well…I never really believed those things could do much until I read this article. This article, and the study that supports it, notes that “Scientists believe they have found a way to plant an idea in your head by manipulating your dreams, like in the film Inception.” This essentially means that people may be able to learn new skills through experiences had and tasks preformed while dreaming.
A similar Swiss study notes that if a lucid dreamer practices a simple task (in this case, throwing a coin into a cup) and masters it in his or her dream, these skills are transferrable to the physical, awake world. The dreamer, while awake, was better at doing the task. These studies don’t note is what impact lucid dreaming practice can have on complex actions and information like golfing or chemistry, but all the same, the study makes some very interesting point about the way we learn.
Can you imagine if, instead of staying up late to cram for a chemistry final, students everywhere just relaxed, had a lucid dream where they read their chemistry notes, woke up and aced the exam?!
Dr. Peter Morgan of Yale University notes that this may be because performing actions and learning skills in lucid dreams engages circuits in the brain in such a way that the brain chemistry and architecture actually change. Very interesting!