Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Update on sleeping for Science

Well, I've been using the Dream:ON app for a week now. As yet, I've not actually had it influence any of my dreams as far as I can tell. Well, at least in the way intended - I've not had the desired relaxing rainforests, shuttle launches or travellings around the world. However, I have had a week of very vivid and richly detailed dreams which are always fun (and surreal), and will certainly carry on using the app.

Some of the soundscapes have woken me up - the shuttle launch has a countdown, and the travelling around the world also has people talking. These have woken me up - but spoken words often do, so I think I shall avoid these. At the weekend, wanting a lie in, I set the alarm later than I would normally get up, and, when the soundscape came on, it woke me, however, at that point I wasn't really asleep (nor really awake), so don't think that really counts, though I'd be remiss not to mention it.

The first time I used the app, I had a bit of a restless night, which I'm sure was excitement about the app. Not so since, see here the very next night:

However, when sharing a bed, whilst still feeling rested, the graph shows less deep sleep:

Ignore the dip. I briefly woke and saw the phone had slipped to the floor. I don't know if I move more during the sleep, or if we both move at different times. It would be interesting (but currently not possible) to set a phone on either side of the bed and compare graphs. However, the app info does state it's optimised for solo sleeping. Also, the mattres is different too.

 The app's reviews appear mixed, it's definitely a Marmite app. Scanning the comments it appears a lot of the one star ratings are down to:

 - having to pay for more dreams. More free dreams are promised though, and on the first day of release, when I got it, it was very clear in stating that it came with just two free dreams.

 - Others appear to have moaned that it didn't help them get to sleep. These are evidently people that cannot read...

- Moaning that they should be getting rewarded for taking part.

 -Some claim it doesn't work (which is fair), but some are claiming it's a scam as they weren't aware of a sound scape. Of course, that they were asleep at the time it played...

 One thought that has occurred to me though - is there a control? do some people not get a soundscape played, but are still asked if they were consciously aware of it?

On the flip side, the positive reviews are happy that's it's worked; not liking the haters and imploring them to read; and also some who should probably try the app before rating - "OMG can't wait to try this" isn't that helpful.

Anyway, I've given the app five stars. Whilst it's not worked for me, it seems that it can take a while for some people, and it may just be that I'm someone for whom it just doesn't work. The app is nice and simple to use and I find the sleep graph interesting in and of itself. Granted it only comes with two dreams to start with, but more are on the way, and these apps don't come cheep.  I'd like them to come with more, but that's just a quibble. Give it a whirl - it's free, adds data for the experiment, and might even work.

 If you're trying it out, do let me know how you're finding it!

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