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Sweet dreams! BYU professor's new app aims to help make sense of them

Sweet dreams! BYU professor's new app aims to help make sense of them (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Dreams. We all have them.

There's now a new way to track what goes on in your head while you sleep.

BYU professor James Gaskin has created a new app aimed at helping people uncover the mysteries of their dreams, analyze patterns, and even fill in the blanks behind some of their more bizarre nighttime scenes.

"Dreams do have meaning," said Gaskin, a professor of information systems. "What we wanted to do was find a way to analyze dreams sort of en masse."

The result is uDreamed. The app allows users to enter information about their dreams which the system then searches for patterns.

"What are the sort of building blocks of dreams," said Gaskin, "the things that are consistent across everybody's dreams."

The app doesn't automatically give an interpretation of a given dream, but it does add the information into a database and lets users run reports or analysis.

Gaskin believes dream data could be hugely helpful.

"For example, I could tell you what middle aged men in Boston were feeling yesterday, dreamed about last night or who they were dreaming about," he said, "or what the populous was feeling right after the last election."

His app hasn't even officially launched yet. But already hundreds have signed up, and they've shared some doozies so far.

"I was a turtle walking through grass that was either zucchinis or watermelon," one dreamer wrote. "I can't remember."

Another said they dreamed they were "on a train during a terror attack."

A third wrote, "I was moving back home with my parents, but it wasn't a depressing thing. It was more like an adventure. My brother was building me a wing off the side of the house, which went up absurdly high--so high that there was snow up where my 'wing' was and no snow down by the house."

The app also aims to connect users with people who have similar dreams as well as with professionals who can help interpret their dreams.

That said, Gaskin promise no names are associated with the app's feed so users can honestly record the twists and turns of their dreams without fear.

Gaskin said long term, he hopes to use the app's findings to make a difference for people and shed light on just what their dreams could mean.

"We can just find all these patterns in that big data," he said.

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