Professor Richard Wiseman, Hertfordshire University Psychologist has helped to create an iPhone application to find out if our dreams can be influenced. The application, available today (Monday, April 9) will be used to gather data as part of a mass experiment as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, where it is assumed the findings will be made public.
The application is called “Dream: ON,” and can be downloaded for FREE from the iPhone “app” store, and there is a plan to create a version to be used on Android phones in the near future.
How it Works
Before going to sleep, select the time you want to wake up, and choose your ideal dream scenario soundscape from those offered. You then put your phone on the mattress close to your head, face down. The application has an in-built motion sensor to decide when you are dreaming by recording your movements.
Since there are three phases to sleep, (deep, light and REM), the application will be able to differentiate which stage of sleep you are in because during the first two stages, the body is restless. However, when you are in the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) stage, the brain paralyzes the body. This is also the “dream” phase.
The application waits for the REM phase and then plays the chosen dream scenario, and will wake you up within a minute of this phase ending. By waking you within a minute (which will be close to your chosen time to wake), there is a high chance that you will remember your dream, and are then invited to record your dream to the online database.
There are even soundscapes (recordings) that may encourage “lucid” dreams, whereby you know you are dreaming and can influence what happens in your dream.
The experiment can potentially gain some important insights to the unconscious mind, and provide valuable information in helping individuals with sleeping disorders, and maybe, help professionals learn more about how we interpret our dreams. Too Sci-Fi for you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.