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Dream:ON App

April 30, 2012

Can a smartphone app influence your dreams?



Dreaming in cyberspace…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

These days, smartphone apps seem to do just about everything except clean your house. But can your smartphone influence your dreams? University of Hertfordshire psychologist Richard Wiseman and his team have launched a new app for the iPhone to test this hypothesis. He says dreaming renders us mostly immobile, so the app, called “Dream:ON” uses the iPhone’s motion sensor to detect whether you’re dreaming. Near the end of the night, it quietly starts playing an audio soundscape when it senses you’re in dreamland.

RICHARD WISEMAN (University of Hertfordshire):

So it wakes you up directly after a dream, and prompts you to type in a report of your dream and that comes into our database.


The research team will analyze the data to see if hearing birds chirp makes you dream about nature, for example. Wiseman says future research may reveal if certain soundscapes can help people with mood disorders. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

Can listening to a particular soundscape influence your dreams? (Jupiter Images)