Can you control your dreams? Most people can’t, not normally anyway, save for a rare bout of so-called lucid dreaming.
Otherwise, dreams are generally a mish-mash of all sorts of recent and long past memories, hopes and fears – but scientists are currently working on an iPhone app which could potentially influence those night-time adventures.
The idea is that the app, called Dream:ON, monitors the sleeper’s movements from the bedside cabinet (or some other nearby vantage point). It can tell when the user is dreaming – when they stop shifting about so much – and the app then plays subtle sounds.
These can be, for example, the sound of birds tweeting, or the lapping of waves. When the user wakes up, they’ll input the resulting dreams they’ve had to a “dream catcher” database, which will allow researchers to determine whether the sounds played have influenced the dream in question.
The research is being conducted by Prof Wiseman, from the University of Hertfordshire, who noted: ”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.”
It’s definitely an intriguing concept, and the Telegraph reports that around 10,000 people are expected to volunteer to take part in the app experiment.
You can grab the app off iTunes, or from the official website here.
Presumably the dream sounds will all be of the pleasant variety and conducive to restful sleep, and there’ll be no sneaking the theme tune to Psycho into the app…