Dr. D. Erlacher Group (Sports Scienes)

Group leader

Dr. Daniel Erlacher
Institute for Sport Sciences

Institution and Address

University of Bern, Institute of Sport Science, Bremgartenstrasse 145, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
Phone +41 31 631 52 06,
email: daniel.erlacher@ispw.unibe.ch

Main goals

To understand the role of sleep and dreams in the field of sport.

Group members and their position

Melanie Schädlich (PhD student, Heidelberg University)
Masters Students: Vitus Furrer and Simon Müller

Previous and current research

Sleep is generally regarded as a valuable resource for psychological and physiological well-being. The sleep medicine knowledge, however, has been integrated in sport science very rarely. Our previous and current research projects, therefore, aimed to connect the areas where sleep medicine and sport science are closely intertwined. Examples are sleep dependent memory consolidation, especially motor memory, sleep before sports competitions, effect of exercise on sleep and the role of (lucid) dreaming in sport related context.

Future projects

1. Lucid dream induction
2. Psychophysiological correlates between sleeping body and dreaming mind
3. The role of sleep in the recovery process of athletes

Techniques / methods

Polysomnography, EEG, EMG, Physiological Measurements and Diagnostic, Behavioral experiments


Ambulatory sleep recording (XLTEK)
EMG recording (EMG-Myon-320)
Biofeddback (Nexus-4)

Selected publications

Stumbrys, T., Erlacher, D., & Schredl, M. (2015): Effectiveness of motor practice in lucid dreams: a comparison with phys-ical and mental practice. Journal of Sports Sciences, online first. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2015.1030342 (IF: 2.1)
Erlacher, D., Schädlich, M., Stumbrys, T., & Schredl, M. (2014). Time for actions in lucid dreams: Effects of task modality, length, and complexity. Frontiers in Psychology. Consciousness Research, 4. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.01013 (IF: 2.8; Am score: 62)
Erlacher, C., Erlacher, D., & Schredl, M. (online first, 2014). The effects of exercise on self-rated sleep among adults with chronic sleep complaints. Journal of Sport and Health Science. doi: 10.1016/j.jshs.2014.01.001 (IF: 1.2)
Stumbrys, T., Erlacher, D., & Schredl, M. (2013). Testing the involvement of the prefrontal cortex in lucid dreaming: A tDCS study. Consciousness and Cognition, 22, 1214-1222. doi: 10.1016/j.concog.2013.08.005 (IF: 2.8)
Erlacher, D., Ehrlenspiel, F., Adegbesan, O., & Galal El-Din, H. (2011). Sleep habits in German athletes before important competitions or games. Journal of Sports Sciences, 29(8), 859-866. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2011.565782

Selected lectures, seminars, colloquia

Sleep and sport


Bial funding