A several studies have found that playing video games prior to sleep increases your awareness and control of your dreams. One of these studies reported:
that people who frequently played video games were more likely to report lucid dreams, observer dreams where they viewed themselves from outside their bodies, and dream control that allowed people to actively influence or change their dream worlds – qualities suggestive of watching or controlling the action of a video-game character.
While another study discovered some interesting correlation between gaming and lucid dreaming:
It found that lucid dreams were common, but that the gamers never had dream control over anything beyond their dream selves.
The gamers also frequently flipped between a first person view from within the body and a third person view of themselves from outside, except never with the calm detachment of a distant witness.
A third study found that gamers reacted the threat simulation in nightmares differently from non-gamers:
gamers experienced less or even reversed threat simulation (in which the dreamer became the threatening presence), with fewer aggression dreams overall.
In other words, a scary nightmare scenario turned into something “fun” for a gamer.
Hmmm … these findings give a whole new series of reasons for playing games. And scientists have even begun looking at gaming as tool for dealing with people who suffer from frequent and severe nightmares.