Mass participation experiment reveals how to create the perfect dream

Dream:ON i-Phone app

Today psychologist Professor Richard Wiseman from the University of Hertfordshire announces the results of a two-year study into dream control. The experiment shows that it is now possible for people to create their perfect dream, and so wake up feeling especially happy and refreshed.

In 2010, Professor Wiseman teamed-up with YUZA to create 'Dream:ON' - an iPhone app that monitors a person during sleep and plays a carefully crafted 'soundscape' when they dream. Each soundscape was carefully designed to evoke a pleasant scenario, such as a walk in the woods, or lying on a beach, and the team hoped that these sounds would influence people's dreams. At the end of the dream, the app sounded a gentle alarm and prompted the person to submit a description of their dream.

The app was downloaded over 500,000 times and the researchers collected millions of dream reports. After studying the data, Professor Wiseman discovered that the soundscapes did indeed influence people's dreams.

Richard Wiseman, professor in the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, said: "If someone chose the nature landscape then they were more likely to have a dream about greenery and flowers. In contrast, if they selected the beach soundscape then they were more likely to about the sun beating down on their skin."

In addition, the researchers discovered that people's dreams were especially bizarre around the time of a full moon.

"In 2013, neuroscientists from the University of Basel discovered that people experience more disturbed sleeping patterns around the time of a full Moon," remarked Wiseman. "We have seen a similar pattern, with more bizarre dreams being associated with a full moon."

Finally, the team also found that certain soundscapes produced far more pleasant dreams.

"Having positive dreams helps people wake-up in a good mood, and boosts their productivity. We have now discovered a way of giving people sweet dreams, and this may also form the basis for a new type of therapy to help those suffering from certain psychological problems, such as depression," commented Wiseman.

The findings are described in Professor Wiseman's book on sleep and dreaming, Night School. The Dream:ON and all of the soundscapes are currently available free of charge.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mass participation dream experiment launches

Apr 12, 2012

Is it possible to influence people as they sleep and give them their perfect dream? Today sees the launch of a new study that uses a specially designed iPhone app in an attempt to improve the dreams of millions ...

Why does the brain remember dreams?

Feb 17, 2014

Some people recall a dream every morning, whereas others rarely recall one. A team led by Perrine Ruby, an Inserm Research Fellow at the Lyon Neuroscience Research Center, has studied the brain activity of ...

Cobweb or cotton candy? Headband aims to control dreams

Jan 18, 2014

(Medical Xpress)—A dream can be explained as a story that happens while we sleep. Some have dreaded dreams at one time or another of climbing a stairwell that never ends or meeting up with a monster or ...

Dreams: Full of meaning or a reflex of the brain?

Oct 03, 2013

It's a question that has long fascinated and flummoxed those who study human behavior: From whence comes the impulse to dream? Are dreams generated from the brain's "top" - the high-flying cortical structures ...

Recommended for you

Dyscalculia: Burdened by blunders with numbers

5 minutes ago

Between 3 and 6% of schoolchildren suffer from an arithmetic-related learning disability. Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich now show that these children are also more likely to exhibit deficits ...

Free help for expecting and new mums at risk of depression

1 hour ago

With postnatal depression affecting almost one in seven women giving birth in Australia, QUT and the White Cloud Foundation have launched an innovative model of care to provide early access to treatment for expecting and ...

A blood test for suicide?

5 hours ago

Johns Hopkins researchers say they have discovered a chemical alteration in a single human gene linked to stress reactions that, if confirmed in larger studies, could give doctors a simple blood test to reliably predict a ...

Could summer camp be the key to world peace?

21 hours ago

According to findings from a new study by University of Chicago Booth School of Business Professor Jane Risen, and Chicago Booth doctoral student Juliana Schroeder, it may at least be a start.

User comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Fabio P_
not rated yet Mar 27, 2014
Umh, why publish the findings in a book rather than in a peer-reviewed journal?