Gadget May Help Sleepers Choose Dreams

Thursday, July 1st 2004, 10:36 am
By: News On 6

TOKYO (AP) _ Ever wished you could decide what to dream at night?

A Japanese toymaker says it has a new gadget that can help you do just that.

Tokyo-based Takara Co. says its ``Dream Workshop'' stand _ shaped like an oversized cellular phone dock and about 14 inches tall _ can be programmed to help sleepers choose what to dream.

While preparing for bed, the user mounts a photograph on the device of who should appear in the dream, selects music appropriate to the mood _ fantasy, comedy, romantic story, nostalgia _ and records key word prompts, such as the name of a romantic crush.

Placed near the bedside, the dream-maker emits a special white light, relaxing music and a fragrance to help the person nod off.

Several hours later, it plays back the recorded word prompts, timed to coincide with the part of the sleep cycle when dreams most often occur. It then helps coax the sleeper gently out of sleep with more light and music so that the dreams are not forgotten.

The device, which will sell for $136 in Japan starting late August, targets sleep-deprived businessmen, a company official said.

``There are many businessmen today who they say don't sleep because they are too busy. This gadget can be used to help them dream a good dream,'' said Takara spokeswoman Mayuko Hasumi.

In a study conducted on a group of men and women between the ages of 20-40, the device had a success rate of 22 percent in inducing dreams in which one of the prompt words appeared, said the Yomiuri Shimbun, a major daily.