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Sweet Dreams Encouraged By Smartphone App

A smartphone app has been released to encourage pleasant dreams whilst a person sleeps. The app, launched at the Edinburgh International Science Festival, is expected to be downloaded and tested by thousands of users according to psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman.

Dream:ON is available though the app store from today, and an Android version is planned for later in the year.

The app plays a 'soundscape' which Wiseman says will encourage a type of dream. The user can choose between peaceful countryside, bustling streets and even space adventures.

Some soundscapes are designed to encourage 'lucid dreaming', where the dreamer is aware they are dreaming and can therefore influence what will happen.

The phone is placed face down on the user's mattress, close to their head. A motion sensor is used to detect when the user is no longer moving which triggers the soundscape.

During the phase of sleep known as REM, the part when a person dreams, the brain paralyses the body, in case the person tries to act out the dream they are experiencing.

Once the dream is over, the app sounds a small alarm, and users are invited to write their dreams down and submit it to the app's database.

Wiseman outlined the importance of this experiement, "A good night's sleep and having pleasant dreams boosts productivity and is essential for psychological and physical well-being. Despite this, we know very little about how to influence dreams. This experiement aims to change that."

Source : Dailyrecord (opens in new tab)