The media coverage of the Dream:ON launch yesterday was amazing and resulted in over 100,000 people across the world using the app last night. However, before we get to that, I thought I would share some of the results from my sleep survey. As you might remember, I asked everyone to describe their perfect dream. I recently separated the responses from men and women, and put them into two different wordclouds. Here is the wordcloud for women:

and here is the one for men….

Can you spot the one word that differentiates the sexes?

So, did you use the Dream:ON app last night? If you did, and it seemed to work, can you give a brief description of your experience……we are dying to know if we influenced your dreams! We know that it usually takes a few nights to get used to, but some of you may have got lucky first time.
Also, feel free to comment on the wordclouds!


    1. Yes, and the men use the word “girlfriend”?? What are you trying to say, The mena lso use “wife” and the women use “husband”?

  1. Well, really excited to start the first night dreaming. Dream every night anyway so was intrigued how it would influence my dreams. I placed it near my pillow, had a dream of racing bikes against friends through country lanes and even cobbled streets and roads like it was a proper race. Then woke up early to check my results and nothing. It said there was not enough data through the night to suggest deep sleep. No data?? Gutted. Did I not sleep, could it not hear me breathing or capture and motion of my zzzzzzzzz? Look great idea and hopefully great analysis, maybe it will work tonight. I stored my dream anyway which is perfect for me to look back on in the future. I am probably the only person this has not worked for as I was probably the most excited to give it a try. Thanks. Tom

  2. Hi Richard. Used the app last night and was really lucky that it worked. I tried the “into the city” option and ended up preparing for a client meeting before actually hosting it – although the meeting didn’t quite go to plan! Will see what happens tonight.

  3. No dreams that i can remember. Oddly, in spite of having the phone quite close to my pillow (it’s a small bed), my graph was very flat and showed me in deep sleep most of the night. The awakening was pleasant though! Worth getting the app just for that, even if the dream stuff never ends up working.

  4. Spoke to Richard on twitter and it did not play my soundscape as I did not get to 20 mins before my alarm time. Maybe I am getting up earlier due to the light mornings. I think I woke up excited to see my sleep patterns and to have my dreams altered in some way by the soundscape. Look I will try this again and again because I believe in the theory. Love it.

  5. Used the app on an iPad, but it didn’t turn on. Is it too large to pick up the movements? Will try again tonight anyway . Great idea though!

    1. No its not, because both men and women have that word, although it is much bigger with men. Happy is bigger with women.

      I can’t find “LOVE” in the male image, while it is quite big with the women.

    2. -M-: If you can’t find “love” in the male image, look directly to the right of “flying” (which is dead center). Interestingly enough, “flying” and “love” appear to be in 1st and 3rd place for both genders, while “sex” and “happy” seem to switch places for the two (in both cases, one is on 2nd place, the other is further down, but still in the top 10-ish).

  6. My first dream was of a garden and I thought to myself in dream ‘the app works’! Several dreams followed but they’re all hazy. Finally, I woke up in the middle of the night in a push up position with my heart racing at a dangerous pace. Once I’d calmed down and my wife had gone back to sleep I turned the app off and deleted it this morning. Too dangerous for my liking. 😦

    1. That wasn’t the app, that was just your garden variety (pun not intended) nightmare. The soundscape doesn’t sound until 20 minutes before your set alarm time, so it wouldn’t be responsible for a middle-of-the-night dream.

      Unless you set yourself up for that situation through power of expectation for what the app was supposed to do.

  7. this mroning i got a dream……and the dream was this i was in a car with my friends a very nice and hot car.

  8. Yes thank you Richard I was late for work because the alarm on the app failed to work. Who else had the same experience?

  9. Just realised I was conscious of the soundscape, but I entered on the app that I wasn’t because I was already awake when it went off, and thought the sound of birds was the alarm sound. So I guess my dream about an old building covered in greenery had nothing to do with the app, unless the sound of birds played at some other time than just after I had 8 hours of sleep, which frankly seems like the wrong time to play it to influence my dreams.

  10. Of your collage I noticed SEX is big for men and little for women but more intriguing both dream big about FLYING!

    I did use the app but hadn’t added the soundscape so not sure it influenced my dreams. I did dream and woke up at 5am but couldn’t focus enough to record it so forgot it by the time I woke up properly. I set the alarm for 6:30 but was awake well before then so I have adjusted the alarm to my normal wake up of 5:30 (ish).

    I don’t normally use an alarm, I just tell my body when to wake up.

  11. Either can’t remember or I didn’t dream last night. I haven’t been able to remember my dream/haven’t had a dream in a long time probably almost a year.

  12. first night i didt see nothing but from today going i bilve the devil will make my dream comes in also make me get money money money and my friends will say that now ampofo patrick is person…..


  14. How did it go? Not well, it appears. The soundscape woke me up approx 20 mins before alarm time, and the alarm went off a minute or two later. I clicked snooze, expecting the alarm to sound again. It didn’t.

    (So I can’t blame the app for a rather odd and disturbing dream that I now realise occurred in the middle of the night.)

  15. Funnily enough, I had a lucid dream on Monday night before I knew anything about this launch. I’ve had lucid dreams a number of times before using the techniques of Stephen LeBerge. I also used to sell lucid dreaming eye patches years ago that monitored REM eye movement and flickered lights in response (subjective light levels seem to remain constant in dream states so flickering would alert you to something unusual). Fnord. Didn’t have a great deal of success with those personally as they woke me up. Others did. I’ve downloaded the app and will try it but I can’t help feeling suspicious of Wiseman’s involvement – he has a tendency to claim his experiments are about one thing then later claiming it was about susceptibilitiy. In this case, I think the whole thing about the app “monitoring your sleep” is not credible. There are motion detectors in iPhones but not ones sensitive enough to notice microadjustments during sleep. I think that’s all part of his spiel to show our susceptibility to suggestion. We get it, Richard. That’s not interesting. What is interesting is how to use belief as a tool to achieve results.

  16. What differentiates the sexes? Well, it’s quite simple.

    Boys have a penis. Girls have a vagina.

    Thank-you “Kindergarten Cop” (1990) for teaching me the fundamentals.

  17. Now on a more serious note, no, I don’t see the “one word” that differentiates them. Both clouds have pretty much the same words with slightly different rankings.

    Perhaps the lack of difference is the point?

    Of course, being a man, I probably missed it since I’m not capable of thinking about much more than flying sex. 😉

    1. why not deep sleep u have to sleep and feel good to your body becos i bilve our devil hoo is great one will as.

  18. Well working on the assumption that it went off as intended (no error messages to say otherwise) then it most certainly didn’t work as intended. Ended up dreaming of investigating murders. Not nightmarish, and most likely because I spent the evening catching up on episodes of CSI!

  19. I don’t like the cloudy presentation of data, but I did notice that both sexes seem to dream of ing (sic).

  20. In the middle of the night I realised I was dreaming and was able to take my dream in the direction I wanted. I was very excited!
    The rest of the night was pretty bad because my cat decided he *really* wanted me awake.
    When I woke up I saw a notice that the soundscape hadn’t played because it didn’t detect deep sleep.
    Conclusion: suggestion is very powerful and the cat is sleeping outside tonight.

  21. I did dream vividly although the graph wasn’t as fierce this morning. I don’t think the soundscape is influencing me yet but I agree the power of suggestion is very strong. In one of my dreams I heard the soundscape and it wouldn’t have even played at that point ….

  22. last night our fridge alarm went off and I dreamt of a lorry reversing outside. It was a bit odd as the dream was originally set in the early 19th century, but I managed to adapt it pretty quickly…

  23. Reblogged this on chrisbeeleyimh and commented:
    I’ve spoken about the wordcloud controversy before. Have a look at these two and see if you can spot one important difference!

  24. My phone reported insufficient information. It may matter that I have a tempurpedic bed. It doesn’t transmit motion very well. Even though the phone was only inches from my head, I doubt there was any movement to detect.

    I requested the “Garden” dream (which was free). I dreamed about being in an opulent swimming pool.

    My big issue is all the dream requests that cost money. No, I’m not paying for this unless it works.

  25. just heard about your app… it sounds interresting

    as a dreams addict..
    I dream a lot every night, I often remember the details, I’m almost always able to resume an interrupted dream, and I can often influence the action.

    One of the secret to invite dreams in your night is to add a duvet over your bed to increase the temperature !

  26. I think is a very interesting study. All people sleep every night many hours, and isn’t the same have a good dream or bad dream for the animic status or humor next day . Imagine that influenciing dreams with sounds can break extress acumulated for example or other alterations and every people could begin every day as “nice day”, similar at reset.

  27. Both nights that I used Dream:On it said that there wasn’t enough data.

    The first night, I vaguely remember the sounds about 1.5 hours before I heard the alarm sounds. I am already a VERY vivid and lucid dreamer all night long and the dreams I have between 4 am and 7 am have been so vivid that it takes me a while to remember what was real.

    I hope by planting a sound scape during the time that I can often get confusing and anxious dreams, those dreams will be more relaxing and I will wake up rested rather than l ike I ran a marathon.

    I would like the sound scape to come on also or earlier in the night to help me have a better dream between 1 am and 3 am. That one often ends up with me calling out in my sleep to get my husband to wake me up to “take me out of the dream” because it is so frightening or maddening.

  28. A wordcloud is something of a blunt instrument for interpreting responses for the ‘perfect dream’ survey. Just because women didn’t type the word ‘sex’ as commonly as men doesn’t NECESSARILY mean that the perfect dreams they described didn’t have sexual content.

    Personally, when I completed the survey my first thought was that my perfect dream would be sexual but as I didn’t exactly want to describe it on a public forum I simply typed the word ‘censored’! I’d be willing to bet that a lot of women asked to briefly describe their perfect dream would respond by giving the name of a celebrity they fantasise about having sex with, but if each woman names a different man it’s not going to be picked up by a wordcloud. I’d be interested to know how many of the responses (by women, and also by men) were celebrity names.

  29. I slept and had a dream which I vividly remember but Dream:ON said I wasn’t in deep sleep as detected by the app. What does that mean?

  30. doesn’t seem like there’s much of a diffrence. Except how huge the word SEX is for males. Though as someone already mentioned that might be due to the fact that women aren’t encouraged to be comftrable talking about that sort of thing.

  31. I’m having trouble believing that this study is what it’s purported to be. How can your phone indicate what kind of sleep you’re in? They’re not that clever or sensitive. I feel that Richard, as a psychologist, has an ulterior study in mind. I’m also unsure as to why the soundscape is only played in the 20 minutes before the alarm goes off? Is it only at this point we’re supposed to dream of the peaceful garden or in the city? Why not play it at a variety of times throughout the night as our sleep moves in cycles.

    1. Anonymous – firstly, the phone measures movement as a proxy. You’re most still during REM sleep (as your brain paralyses you – sleep walking is an example of this going wrong), therefore, if the phone registers you as being still, then it will assume you are in REM. REM is (usually) when people dream, and, dreams are most often remembered when you are woken up from them. A dream at 03:00am is unlikely to get remembered, and, no one will want to wake up and write about it in a dream diary. Therefore, the 20 minute thing, before waking up, is the best time really. What ulterior study do you think is in mind?

    2. a-psychologists don’t always have alterer motives (well maybe some psychoanalysts)… besides projects like these go though ethics boards which minimise deception. Study of seep and dreaming is a valid area of study in psychology, so why deceive?.

      b-the phones motion sensors and microphone can detect with some certainty that you’re in deep sleep -that is not tossing and turning. However it will not pick up every time you’re in deep sleep, and the deep sleep that night might not coincide with the optimum time for remembering dreams.

      c-previous research has shown us to dream throughout the night, but that we’re only likely to remember those dreams if we wake soon after. As this study wants to know what you dream about with these sounds they must be played shortly before wakening.

  32. Pingback: race for dreams
  33. Dear Dr Wiseman,

    I just wanted to know if you had further explored the effects of the Dream:ON app in patients with with depression and/or being treated with anti-depressants. I was diagnosed as having severe depression three years ago and have been taking high doses of prozac ever since. The most frequent side effect has been disturbing lucid dreams, but having experiment with your app, I have found that I don’t have lucid bad dream when I use the app. Can you shine any light on why this might happen?

  34. Have used app many times. Has never played sound although I have been on a deep sleep all night???
    Would love to know why no sound
    Best regards

  35. I’ve used the Dream: ON app for about two weeks and I hadnt dreamed once.. I use to dream every night but now nothing and I even toss and turn now . 😞 I was hoping it would work !!!!

  36. Similar to this App I also like Morpheus Dreams which really is the most comprehensive Dream journal and interpretation App on the iTunes.

    The App allows you to easily record dreams, sync across devices, interpret as you write, and identify favorite or recurring themes and iamges. The dictionary has been composed de novo through a careful curation and recompilation of the most valuable dream interpretations published throughout history: from Artemidorus, to Freud, Jung, Hasse and selected others. Morpheus is the first and only App to offer a comprehensive and cohesive set of interpretations based on the foundational work in the field, not a simple rehash.
    Finally, you’re never locked in as you’re always able to export your whole journal in text format and move on which makes the App worth investing the time. The $1.99 price is incredibly cheap for such a useful app to anyone interested in dreams, whether you use the journal or the dictionary alone

  37. I only looked for about 10 seconds each, but thought the same as Jay…”control” was the word I didn’t see on the female chart??

  38. Ironically if you read multiple words near each other as a fragment then you can find ‘control women’ lol

  39. I have several issues with this app. When I first read about it, I thought ‘Good old Mr Wiseman is up to his tricks again. It will be interesting to see what he is really studying. I was going to keep silent on the numerous reasons why this app can’t possibly do what it claims, as the point of the study is not to see how the app effects dreaming. But once I saw that the site is offering paid for content then the scam has to be pointed out, as the claims are fraudulent.
    It is claimed that the app will monitor your sleeping, and play in the soundscape one it knows when you are in REM sleep. The Iphone does have a proximity sensor, located in the front of the phone. It is a very short range infrared source and sensor. You can actually see the sensor glowing red in the video clip, as most cameras register infrared. Placing the iphone face down disables this sensor. There is also an ambient light sensor next to the IR proximity sensor. Again this would be disabled by placing the phone face down. This leaves us with the microphone. This could possibly monitor the sound levels, which could be assumed would drop when the subject was sleeping and movement was prohibited by muscle atonia . But this would be useless if the subject snored (studies show snoring is more prevalent than most people think, up to 40% of the population).
    So the iphone is incapable of monitoring your REM sleep pattern with any reasonable level of accuracy, it is this claim combined with the paid for content that I find immoral and fraudulent. I am surprised that a reputable academic has developed or endorses this product. If the app were free then the only misrepresentation was to the true aim of the research, that of a mechanical placebo and its effect on suggestion.
    My other issue is that of your choice of operating system. Sixty eight percent of smart phones now run on the Android OS as opposed to the 17% of Apple’s IOS. Limiting the study to such a small sample group would not give an accurate result. On second thoughts I withdraw my objection to this issue as it could be safe to assume that as Apple consumers are predisposed to suggestion (by their belief that the overpriced Apple products are superior to other brands :P).

    1. Mike, you mentioned light, proximity, and sound, but you’re nowhere near enough “right” to be so smug about this being a scam. Dream:ON and all other “smart alarm” apps use the phone’s ACCELEROMETER (the device that knows when you’ve turned the phone so the screen can rotate and that knows you’re moving so things like step counter apps can work) to measure movement, because when we’re in REM sleep (dreaming), our bodies are cataleptic (we don’t move, which may be an evolutionary adaptation to prevent us injuring ourselves by acting out our dreams). This catalepsy is also behind the beliefs regarding demons holding people down to eat their souls, because the inability to move can persist into the waking world if someone is awoken in the middle of the REM stage (even the dream imagery can come along in a hallucinatory way, causing people to believe they’re seeing demons or ghosts in the room). While I was using this app, I had quite a few mornings where the soundscape would be too loud and disturb my sleep and I’d wake in a paralysis state; while I can see how not knowing why you can’t move could be scary, it’s quite an interesting phenomenon when you know what it is.

      You are right on one point: the measurement system is very unlikely to be highly accurate, but it’s the best we have in common use until people are willing/able to sleep at home with EEG diodes stuck to their heads.

  40. I’ve tried it several nights, but for some weird reason the soundscape starts exactly before I wake up. The app records my movement fine, I have a lot of deep sleep in the nights I’ve used the app. I’ve dreamed other things, but the soundscape won’t start.(I am using Ocean View Lucid).

  41. Used the app for the first time last night. Used garden and had a dream I was back in elementary school. However, all of school was held in a beautiful, luscious garden. We were learning about birds and plants, meanwhile all of it was around us. Somehow when it abruptly ended with trans-Siberian sleigh ride, I was sad. It was one of my favorite dreams ever. Using again tonight!

  42. I tried the app for the first time last night. I don’t remember my dream, but I did get a great night’s sleep! I feel very rested this morning, and do not feel the anxiety I usually feel on a work morning after awakening. I chose the Peaceful Garden dreamscape. I like to think that even though I may not remember it, I spent the night in a peaceful garden. I did get a good reading of deep sleep though. Tonight I’m going to try Rain through the Trees.

  43. I have been using it for a week. So far, no lucidity. However, my dream recall has gone up considerably. I seem to wake up the sounds rather than being affected in my dreams.

  44. I have been using the app and I did not use headphones it worked! But my mom wakes up so use headphones if you are a 13 year old like me trust me

  45. What us this thing? Does anyone even really know what it’s doing? I’ve read reviews and people don’t even know if it came on. This app could be putting terrible things in to our minds.

    Last night I tried this app. When I finally fell asleep last night I was trapped in my dream! I had the feeling something high pitched was coming from my cell phone. I dreamed that my bf was asking me what that horrible sound was and told me to turn it off. I couldn’t move, I was seeing flashes of light that I knew weren’t there but was just coming from the electrical pain in my brain, and I couldn’t really speak. I managed a few steels out, ‘help, help, help’

    I couldn’t wake up. In my dream I came to the conclusion that what was happening was due to the app. I finally woke up and, tho the app seemed to not been doing anything, I closed it. It took me a little while to find comfort to sleep again.

  46. Ok so I think this app worked cause I dreamt about receiving a strange call and shortly afterwards seeing someone running towards me. I ran away. It took like 2 mins in the morning to feel safe . I’m not complaining. It’s actually cool. My question is does having the fan on decreases the app performance cause it even tells you to silent your device

  47. Tried this last night. Had nightmares. Slept 3.5 hours less than normal – i.e 4.5 hours – and woke with a raging headache.

  48. I tried the Dream On program on my iPad the first night, and slept soundly through the night for the first time in a long time. The sleep graph seemed to looked pretty good also.

    Over the next few nights I tried it with both my iPad, and my new iPod Touch 5th Generation device. Now neither device seems to be able to sense my presence in bed for some reason? Wondering if it’s due to my memory foam mattress, and if there is a way to work around the problem?


  49. I have used this app for about 4 months (since January) on an almost regular basis. I can definitely say that my dreaming and sleeping habits do not change with or without this app. I rarely remember a dream, and even if I do, I can only write two or three words in my “dream diary”. I do sometimes hear the soundscapes but I don’t feel like they change anything. However I share this dream app with my boyfriend and he says his dreams almost always change according to the soundscape he picks and he knows when a soundscape plays. I guess it depends on the person.

  50. Hey when you going to release this dream On app for android we are dying to use that app on android please reply

  51. Can the app be used on airplane mode? I just don’t like the idea of having my phone next to my head all night..but I love the app

  52. Please help!
    I can only see my smart alarm in my soundscapes and nothing else.
    When I go to ‘start dreaming’ I only get the choise of random, which playes my smart alarm from the moment I put my iPad down.
    What’s happening? I really want to try it out. Thanks

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