A British psychologist has invented a new experimental iPhone app designed specially to give sleepers more pleasant dreams.
Dream:ON, created by Professor Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire, could potentially spell an end to the nasty 'mares many of us experience by turning the iPhone into a so-called “dream factory”.
To activate the app users place the handset near the pillow when going to bed, which allows it to monitor the user’s sleep patterns.
When it stops detecting movements, which suggests the onset of a dream, the phone goes into a ‘soundscape’ mode devised to evoke zen-like imagery in the dream, such as a relaxing stroll through the countryside or a lie-down on a beach. This, in theory at least, can create a calmer dream state among restless sleepers.
"One of the problems with having a bad dream is you do wake up in a bad mood and it doesn't set you off for the day. If your sleep is disturbed you're not so alert, you're not so productive so what we're hoping here is we can actually change the world's dreams,” Wiseman explained.
"We can actually get people to wake up having had a happy dream and also look forward to going to bed so fingers crossed this could change everything."
Some 10,000 users will participate in a study to determine the app’s effectiveness, set to launch at the Edinburgh science festival.
Similar apps already exist that allow sleepers to wake up in a lighter sleep state. If Dream:ON works as intended, it could take smartfans a step closer to actually influencing what they dream about.