Nathan Hager, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - Do nightmares have you waking up in a cold sweat, or tossing and turning all night?
Then this app might be a dream come true.
A team of students from Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has released a 99-cent application for the iPhone called Sigmund.
The app provides a list of more than 1,000 words in a variety of categories, such as "Romantic," "Adventure," "Travel" or "Nature."
Users can choose up to five words, then set the time they think they'll fall asleep and the time they need to wake up.
Next, the app calculates when users are most likely to start REM sleep, at which point it speaks the selected words.
The concept is based on a 2009 study in the "Journal of Sleep Research" which found spoken words are the only outside stimulus found to have an influence on the content of dreams.
A vision statement on Sigmund's website suggests developers hope it reduces the stress and anxiety that linger after a bad nightmare.
They also see dreaming as a form of virtual reality.
"It is quite possible that in 20 years, our own dreams will become truly controllable entertainment," the site says.
But does it work? Ask in the morning.
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)
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