Is all that we see or seem / But a dream within a dream?
For Hunter Lee Soik, one half of the team behind Shadow, an app designed to make recording and remembering dreams simple, this might be true. According to Wired, the designer “literally dreamt up the concept.”
In simplest terms, Shadow is an innovative alarm/digital dream journal that helps you record and remember dreams. Most dreams occur in the REM (rapid-eye movement) stage of sleep. Most people have between 3-5 dreams per night (if someone is woken during REM sleep, they usually report vivid dreams), and yet it is estimated that we forget 95% of our dreams within minutes of waking. Our dream selves have total, uninhibited access to our past, but it’s purely ephemeral. That’s a lot of lost data.
Taking this into account, Shadow’s escalating alarms gradually transitions dreamers through their hypnopompic state (the partially conscious state that precedes complete awakening from sleep). Once awake, users are encouraged to instantly record their dream/s. Over time, patterns emerge, and Shadow helps track repetition and make connections. “There’s a lot going on in the subconscious mind that if you can start to pull out little details, you start to get a wider picture of yourself,” says Soik via Wired.
To Aristotle, the most skillful interpreter of dreams was a man able to observe resemblances in them, to put the pieces together. He probably never thought there would be an app for that.
Beyond the individual experience, Soik and his partner, Jason Carvahlo, hope to create the largest dream database in the world. While some potential users remain skeptical– there will always be those who claim dreams means nothing– there is a long line of scientists, psychologists, philosophers, and perpetual dreamers who would say otherwise. Like Freud who believed our dreams are manifestations of our desires and anxieties. Or John Lennon who famously chimed, “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.” Maybe there’s a reason the scientific study of dreams is called oneirology.
If we combine dream forces, perhaps the possibilities are limitless.
Donate to Shadow’s Kickstarter and #LETSBUILDSHADOW.
Image via Shadow