It’s no secret that technology has become a major part of the health and wellness conversation as seen by Apple’s recently announced iWatch, which tracks heart rate activity, and increased popularity of the Jawbone, a wearable device that monitors sleep patterns. As technology continues to make advancements in the wellness movement, people are starting to pay much more attention to an activity we spend about one third of our lives doing: sleeping. When it comes to our overall health, the importance of sleep is recognized universally, alongside diet and exercise. Thus, it comes as no surprise that sleep-specific wearable devices are making their market debut. However, as digital innovations and research in the field of sleep are garnering a great deal of attention, one thing that goes on while we are sleeping cannot be ignored: our dreams. We’ve all been there — everyone has woken up from a night’s sleep thinking about a dream from the night before. Why did the dream happen? What does it mean? Like sleep, dreams are important and valuable indicators when it comes to improving mental health and wellness — they guide us towards wellness, so we should treat them as what they are: tools we can use to build our healthier selves. Tracking, having conversations about and understanding dreams has piqued public interest as digital innovations, particularly in mobile, have given us greater opportunity to access and make sense of what goes on in our minds when we sleep. Just as we can track calories burned, footsteps taken, and hours slept, thanks to advances in mobile, we now have the ability to closely monitor our dreams. New mobile tools for dream tracking, analysis and self-reflection are gaining mainstream traction, giving us access to data needed to analyze our dream patterns over time, helping us uncover how our dreams influence our waking lives. For example, what was once a difficult concept for many to grasp, lucid dreaming (which is awareness that one is dreaming) is now becoming more of a reality. Looking at the Aurora headband from iWinks, we have the opportunity to control our dreams and can now access lucid dreams in ways that were not possible before by prompting them in our sleep. More via WIRED.
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