They’re not entirely the same, but dreaming about exercising can lead to actual performance improvements, so we’re just going to decide that sleeping counts as exercise from now on, because that’s the way the world should work.
People who sleep better tend to exercise more, and people who exercise a lot report that they sleep better than people who do not. But the best results might come to those who exercise before and during a good night’s sleep.
According to The Daily Mail, working out or practicing sports in one’s sleep actually helps improve performance in real-world athletics.
Now new research by Heidelberg University shows that the improvement stems from the fact that your mind believes you are practicing the sport for real.
Sportsmen and women who have engaged in training while they sleep have described enhanced performance after practicing such things as a complex move, a tricky shot in basketball or a free kick in football over and over again.
But while sleep exercise can improve speed, coordination, and general sporting prowess, it doesn’t seem likely to burn any calories unless you’re actually kicking around in your sleep, which has its own drawbacks. (I once dreamed about Muay Thai class and actually rolled over and punched my husband right in the stomach.)
But how to make oneself actually go to dreamtime exercise class? It’s not quite like motivating oneself to go to the gym, but it’s not entirely dissimilar. The Daily Mail theorizes that it’s possible to train oneself to work out in one’s sleep by training oneself to recognize a dream while it’s happening so one can control what one does and what happens during the dream. Meditating on the goal and avoiding books and television before bed helps keep other images from popping up in one’s dreams.
Asking oneself, “Am I dreaming? Am I awake?” throughout the day can allegedly help train a person to identify dreams when they happen, but we don’t recommend doing it out loud, because it will also make a person look totally crazy.
Via The Daily Mail/Photo: Shutterstock