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Dean Whitbread 2013

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Written on April 22, 2010, and categorized as Living.
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I’ve been recording my sleep patterns – or at least, attempting to record them – using an iPhone app called Sleep Cycle.

This app presumes to measure sleep activity in order to wake you during the lightest sleep phase, thus avoiding those awful jolts of awakening which occur when you are forceably roused from deep sleep, thereafter spending the first ten minutes of the day staggering around disorientedly, all the while trying to remember something which you’re sure you need that you know you’ve forgotten, that being, more sleep.

It’s a great idea, which I really don’t need since I wake up quite naturally without alarms 99% of the time. But always having had an ambiguous relationship with sleep, I am curious to investigate.

Sleep Cycle shows that in the past three days, I do not appear to be dreaming. This either means I need to reset the thing, or else, that I only have two modes, deep sleep and wakefulness, and that dreaming is experienced only briefly in passing between the two states.

Interestingly for me, in my recent meditations, I’ve found myself falling into hypnagogic states, in which I’m technically still awake but watching dreams play out as if asleep. It can be quite entertaining, but it’s not what I’m trying to do. I don’t want to sacrifice my meditations, and I’ve wondered if it means that I’m not dreaming enough at night in the conventional manner.

I do remember some recent dreams. Two nights ago I dreamt that I was trying to recall the name of a Norwegian friend, Ulf, whom I don’t see very often. I suddenly recalled the dream when I saw some activity from him on Facebook yesterday. You see, Facebook is good for some things. Then last night, during one of the dreams I was not having, I was showing Ulf my new iPhone app which takes pictures of dreams.

“Look,” I was saying, “this is what I saw in my dream,” and I showed him a rather beautiful stained glass window from the dream I’d had earlier.

This isn’t the first time I have dreamt about computers or the internet, but it’s the first time I’ve ever dreamt an app from the future which actually operates in dreamtime.

This Sleep Cycle iPhone app is clearly affecting my dreams, even though it doesn’t seem to be able to recognise that I have them.

I wonder what else it is doing to my brain, and what Trojan Horse unconsciousness virus this innocuous app is harbouring, that it shows me the app it wants to be when it grows up.

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This thing has 3 Comments

  1. Posted 22 April, 2010 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    I used the very same app the other night, but I didn't like the phone having to be in my bed (due to scare stories of radiation from phones causing cancer etc) so I stopped. Are my fears are unfounded? I found it fascinating to see how much deep sleep I'd been getting, and it did tell me I'd had some dreams though I couldn't remember them. The wakeup sounds were a lot nicer than my other alarm clock, too!

  2. Posted 22 April, 2010 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I put it on “airplane” mode, and it lives by my feet. There's only me in my bed, so it can be as sensitive as it likes – that's what the first two nights guage, I think, how sensitive to movement the app needs to be.

  3. lozzykinz
    Posted 22 April, 2010 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Okay. This is really weird because you wrote this article just as a weird thing concerning sleep happened to me. I got up this morning, perfectly fine. Then i did that stupid thing where you pop back in your room, end up laying on the bed for a few seconds and BANG I fell back to sleep. But i wasn't really asleep – i think it must have been some kind of light sleep because i knew what i was dreaming about – it was like i was stood watching it and telling myself to wake up come on wake up you have things to do! But i just could not wake up at all…my dream was rather disturbing…if you've been on Twitter then you will know what it was about but i won't go into it on here lol. But i know i was awake – but at the same time i wasn't…all the while i was trying to pull my mind away from the dream and wake up. I could also feel my body moving in bed, trying to wake itself up. Was very strange. Then i woke up and saw this article you've written. Just thought i'd share.

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