Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Want to influence your dreams?

We all dream. Sometimes they're good dreams, sometimes they're disturbing dreams, occasionally they're somewhat unsettling. Mostly they're bizarre and non-sensical.

Now a team, lead by Professor Richard Wiseman from the University of Hertfordshire, have created a iPhone app called Dream:ON as part of an experiment looking into whether our dreams can be positively influenced and manipulated.

Participants in the experiment put their iPhone on the bed so that it can detect when they are not moving, signifying the onset of dreaming.

It then plays a "soundscape" designed to evoke pleasant scenes such as walking in woods, or lying on a beach - with the hope that it will influence dreamingAt the end of the dream the app sounds a gentle alarm to wake the dreamer, who submits a brief description of the dream to a ''dream catcher'' database.

Prof Wiseman says, "Getting a good night's sleep and having pleasant dreams boosts people's productivity, and is essential for their psychological and physical well being. Despite this, we know very little about how to influence dreams. This experiment aims to change that."

Prof Wiseman says that depressed people dreamed far more than others, and often had negative dreams. "Perhaps improving their dreams might help them," he added.

All very Strange Days if you ask me - but that could be a good thing...

We will watch with interest and keep you posted.

If you're intrigued and want to take part, click on the link: Dream:ON

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