Modern science has been able to solve many of the most complex mysteries of our bodies and minds. But, the phenomenon of dreams — why they happen, how they happen, and what they mean — still manages to stump researchers and psychologists. While there are countless theories that try to explain the psychological and neurological function of dreams, we still know very little about the process.
One thing we do know: Studies have shown that the last dream of the night, which usually occurs during the 30 minutes before you wake up, plays a crucial role in your mood for the rest of the day. And, some crafty scientists have found a way to potentially control the course of this dream — and they've already made it into a handy iPhone app.
Created by a psychology professor at the University of Hertfordshire in the U.K., Dream:ON is basically a fancy alarm clock that uses sound to control your dreams before waking you up. Users can choose from dozens of "soundscapes," from a peaceful garden to a busy urban environment. Individuals rest their phone beside them on their bed, and the app utilizes the phone's accelerometer to tell when they're in the ideal point in their sleep cycle to co-opt their dreams and then initiates the soundscape accordingly.
But, does it work? One ambitious dream explorer at The Daily Beast gave the app a spin and found that the different soundscapes had a very real impact: A comedy-club soundscape sparked a funny dream, while using the nature soundscape resulted in a dream of a lakeside vacation. Sure, we may be a ways off from having full control over the adventures of our sleeping selves, but we're still pretty excited about the possibility of never waking up on the wrong side of the bed again. (The Daily Beast)