Videogames Could Cure Nightmares

Those who stay up all night playing video games may find they have justification for their actions.  Doing so may actually be good for your health.  Scientists have discovered that playing video games has a direct correlation to reported incidents of lucid dreaming during nightmares.  The research, performed at Canada’s Grant MacEwan university sheds some light on the connection between a dream-state and the state of mind entered when playing some video games, and may provide some insight into “fighting back” when it comes to nightmares.

There are those that suggest that with space travel quickly moving to the back burner of science, the mind is the final currently attainable frontier.  And lucid dreaming, it seems is one of the most directly appreciable means of exploring this frontier with a conscious intent.  The negative associations with nightmares can have a significant impact on health through lack of sleep, avoiding sleep, and constant interruption of REM sleep.  The discovery suggests there may be non-medicated ways to fight back this epidemic.  Of course there are also those who suggest the disease may be partially the result of video games themselves, with horror titles flying off the shelves.

But researchers have found a direct correlation between video game use and skills required in order to properly lucid dream.  Video game players were found to have superior spatial analysis skills and were less likely to become motion sick when operating in a range of environments than non-gamers.  Other exercises have had similar success when determining proneness to lucid dreaming such as meditation, exercises that focus the mind on a particular object or activity, and generalized focus training.

Those who have been affected by video games in a way conducive to more skilled lucid dreaming often reported a consistent shift in focus from first to third person view while maintaining the understanding that they were not dissociated from the environments their dream consciousness perceived.  They found they could control their bodies more easily and even possess seemingly “magical” powers such as flight, though they still were fairly limited in their ability to control their environment directly.  There have been suggestions that this is directly related to the “type” of videogame the players have been playing rather than a cognitive limitation.

So are we on the cusp of discovering something that may one day rocket the human mind into a world without nightmares where dreams are a constant and consistently enjoyable exercise?  Or at least one that promotes healthy psychological functioning so that those within their minds can gain a level of self control required to treat a number of psychological illnesses?  Lucid dreaming has been reported as a fruitful means of self discovery for years, and the lucky groups that consistently have developed a skill of lucid dreaming have stated that it is one of the most incredible skills they have ever required.  And if it’s a skill that can be acquired through a behavior that many people enjoy exhibiting anyway, then there may be new games out soon that are portrayed not only as entertainment, but also as medical tools to fight against sleep disorders.