Nightmares: listening to sounds associated to good experiences alleviates dangerous desires

Listening to a particular piano sound whereas doing a kind of remedy that may alleviate nightmares reduces individuals’s dangerous desires when the identical sound was performed whereas they slept


October 27, 2022

Hearing a sound that we associate with a positive experience while we sleep, the same sound also being played during a specific type of therapy, makes bad dreams less frequent

Listening to a noise that we affiliate with a constructive expertise whereas we sleep, the identical sound additionally being performed throughout a particular sort of remedy, makes dangerous desires much less frequent

monkeybusinessimages/Getty Photos

Nightmares could also be lowered by listening to a tone whilst you sleep that you simply beforehand related a constructive ending with a foul one dream throughout remedy.

As much as 8% of individuals report having issues with nightmares. The usual remedy is Picture Repetition Remedy (IRT), to which 30% of individuals don’t reply. IRT consists of repeating a earlier nightmare however modifying it to have a extra constructive ending.

To facilitate reminiscence recall, some therapies contain particular person listening to a particular sound as a result of they type recollections after which have that very same sound performed whereas they sleep. That is usually carried out throughout the REM (non-rapid eye motion) sleep section, whereas desires and nightmares are extra widespread throughout REM sleep.

To check the potential of this method for nightmares, Lampros Perogamvros on the College of Geneva, Switzerland, and his colleagues first separated 36 individuals who had a couple of nightmare per week into two teams.

Each teams had been taught to carry out the IRT themselves at dwelling, which they did for five minutes a day for 2 weeks. Just one group, nonetheless, listened to a impartial piano tone whereas performing their IRT.

Throughout these two weeks, each teams wore a scarf each night time that monitored their sleep section by detecting mind exercise. When coming into REM sleep, each teams performed the tone that just one group was uncovered to throughout their dwelling IRT. This tone was performed at 10 second intervals.

On the finish of the 2 weeks, the group that heard the tone throughout IRT reported having one-fifth extra nightmares in comparison with the IRT-only group. This impact continued till the tip of the follow-up interval of the experiment, at three months.

The group that heard the tone throughout the IRT additionally reported having extra constructive desires.

By finishing up this remedy in individuals’s houses, it might turn out to be a widespread intervention to alleviate nightmares, says Marc Blagrove at Swansea College, UK.

“You possibly can not solely have individuals with ESRD handled within the clinician’s room or the therapist’s room, however individuals might probably be despatched dwelling with these gadgets that observe the phases of sleep and re-present the auditory cue that was performed once they had been doing the IRT whereas sleeping,” he says.

To raised perceive how completely different phases of sleep correspond to nightmares, future analysis might take a look at sound playback throughout non-REM sleep phases, Blagrove says.

Journal reference: Present biology, DOI:

Be taught extra about these subjects: