Can you control what you dream?

Sleeping man Can dreams be influenced?

Related Stories

Scientists have begun a study to see if it is possible to influence what we dream about.

They have designed a smartphone app which plays sounds such as birds in woodland or waves lapping against the shore.

The idea is that the noises should direct pleasant dreaming.

Prof Richard Wiseman, who is launching the trial as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, wants thousands of people to take part.

Rather than recruiting people directly, the 'mass participation' trial relies on members of the public volunteering.

The sounds are played around 20 minutes before participants say they want to wake up.

The Dream:ON app monitors movements to sense when the sleeper has started dreaming. It then plays the sounds.

When it senses the person has stopped dreaming, the alarm goes off. The person is then asked to send a description of the dream to the 'Dream Catcher' database.

Prof Wiseman said: "Getting a good night's sleep and having pleasant dreams boosts people's productivity, and is essential for their psychological and physical well-being.

"Despite this, we know very little about how to influence dreams - this experiment aims to change that."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Health stories

RSS

Features

  • How ebola spread graphicPatient zero

    How one boy’s death triggered Ebola outbreak


  • Passport control at airportNews quiz

    How much do you know about migration?


  • Phillip Hughes playing cricket for Australia in September 2014Brain trauma

    How is the brain injured and protected from injury?


  • Passengers pushing planeHeave!

    How many people does it take to push a plane?


  • Complainant'Like being in hell'

    The story of one victim of paedophile care home boss


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.