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Tracy Tough finds out what’s coming next for your eight hours of ZZZZs.

FINDING YOUR DREAMS a little boring of late? Just add in some better music, brighter colours or more interesting scenery. And when you wake up, you can always rewind and check out the best bits.

For someone who lives to, say, 80, and averages eight hours sleep a night, that’s 26.6 years asleep in a lifetime, or 9709 days.

Even though we spend around a third of our lives sleeping, the science of sleep – and why our brain creates dreams while we’re out for the count – is still a little hazy.

“There is no agreement about [the]function [of dreams]among dream researchers,” Deirdre Leigh Barrett, a psychology professor of at Harvard Medical School, told CNN earlier this year.

But even if nobody’s quite certain why dreams exist, advances in science and sleep tech mean we may soon be able to have a say in what we dream about – and even watch our dreams back if we want. 

Oh, and if you’re having trouble drifting off in the first place, a cuddly sleep robot might help lower your heart rate and get you into shut-eye mode.

Future Stories is a monthly podcast from TheJournal.ie and Volkswagen. This month, we’re looking ahead to the future of sleep. Tracy Tough meets Julian Jagtenberg, one of the founders of the sleep robot Somnox, and speaks to leading futurist Ian Pearson about the potential to “hack” our dreams to make them more realistic.

Hear more on Future Stories. The new episode is live right now:


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