Influencing Our Dream World To Wake Up Refreshed

beach-landscape-NeilsPhotography-flickr.jpg

Since you spend about a third of your life sleeping, you might be interested to know that—according to recent a research study—people can create an ideal sleep-time dream world to help them wake up feeling happy and energized.

The two-year study into dream control used an iPhone app that plays carefully crafted sound-scapes and monitors people as they sleep.

The sound-scapes were designed to trigger dreams within natural environments such as strolling along a beach, or hiking a forest path. When dreaming ended, the app awakened the dreaming study participant with a gentle alarm, reminding the individual to record and submit a description of their dream.

Dreamy Data

The researchers gathered millions of recorded dreams because the app was made available as a free download to those who wanted to participate. After analyzing the data, the investigators realized that listening to the sound-scapes during sleep influenced the content of people’s dreams.

“If someone chose the nature landscape, then they were more likely to have a dream about greenery and flowers,” said lead researcher Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire. “In contrast, if they selected the beach sound-scape then they were more likely to dream about the sun beating down on their skin.”

The data also indicate that having positive dreams makes it more likely a person will wake-up in a positive mood, and have a productive day. Knowing how to help people have mood-boosting dreams may lead to new types of therapy for psychological issues such as depression.

Lunar Influence

The researchers noticed something else of interest in their data. Humans tend to have more bizarre dreams when the moon is full. This finding complements research done at the University of Basel by a group of neuro-scientists who found that people’s sleep patterns are more disturbed with the presence of a full moon.

Anyone interested in learning more about sleep and dreams may want to check out Professor Wiseman’s new book called Night School, available on Amazon. It presents interesting science but reads like a story, and has tips and exercises for reaping the benefits of sleep.

Photo by Neils Photography (flickr)

Source: Science Daily

 
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