Sleepers are more likely to have positive dreams surrounded by car horns and commuter noise
You’d think that the background sound of birdsong and babbling brooks would promote a good sleep.
But research suggests we’re more likely to have positive dreams when we are surrounded by the noise of commuters and car horns.
Scientists studied the dreams of 8,000 individuals who were played randomly selected soundscapes as they slept.
Those taking part had no idea whether they had heard a rural scene with birdsong, a busy cityscape, a person talking to them, or nothing at all. All they did was record details of their dreams when they woke up.
The initial results released today were unexpected – those who heard the birds experienced dreams which were 20 per cent more negative than those who heard nothing.
Those who heard the sound of the daily grind were up to 30 per cent more likely to wake up feeling positive and refreshed. The worst was the ‘lucid soundscape’ – the sound of someone talking – which triggered dreams 30 per cent more negative.
The experiment was carried out with a smartphone app that played different sounds as individuals went into the last period of rapid eye movement sleep or REM – when we dream.