A Potential Cure to Our Sleepless Lives


Originally, I was going to propose inventing a dream machine that would record people’s dreams and play them back to us in the morning like television. I came up with this because I hardly ever remember my dreams, and I thought that remembering dreams would provide insight into peoples’ sub-conscious minds; thus enabling people to understand themselves in a new light. However, as I tried to research the importance of dreams, the subject was largely overshadowed by the importance of sleep, so I decided to add to my invention. If I could have something invented, I would want a sleeping cap invented that when put on, would help to relax people’s minds in order to fall asleep faster and easier. But, because dreams and sleep are so interconnected (and I think remembering dreams would be fascinating), this sleeping cap would also record our dreams and replay them to us the next morning.

One question researchers frequently ask is “Do you dream in order to sleep or do you sleep in order to dream?” On average, people dream from one to two hours every night, having anywhere from four to seven dreams in one night. However, research shows that five minutes after a dream, a person forgets half the content of the dream, and after ten minutes, 90% of the dream is lost. Dreams are a regurgitation of all the new ideas and insights we encounter during the day, so while we are sleeping, our brains are sifting through our experiences of the past day working to figure out what is important to remember. Although the content of dreams can be interesting and random, a NYT article discussed that the actual importance of dreams comes from our minds’ “attempt to search for associations between seemingly unrelated experiences, which is why it’s so important for the controlling conscious self to disappear.” While it is still being research why we dream, their importance is clear as they occur during our REM sleep when our minds are revitalized and our emotions are recharged.

Around the world, and especially in the U.S., sleep deprivation is becoming a serious problem. Sleep has taken a back seat to TV, the Internet, and work, whether its long work shifts, working at home, or putting in long hours at the office. The problem with this shift to a 24/7 society is that it has led to poor work performance, driving accidents, relationship problems, and mood problems like anger and depression. Research has also showed that heart disease, diabetes, and obesity have all been linked to chronic sleep loss. Sleep isn’t just essential for revitalizing our minds and the formation of long-term memories, it may also be an essential component of creativity. It is clear that getting more sleep than students, professionals, and all of the work force currently are, would benefit society in many areas of which we are currently experiencing problems.

A sleeping cap, if invented, would relax our minds to be able to drift into sleep. Although sleep comes easy to some, for those of you who have experienced the difficulties of sleep, instead of going to sleep each night, rolling around in our beds, and fighting our over-working brains to stop thinking and just sleep, we would be able to put on our sleeping caps and get the necessary sleep that is essential to our well being. It would not only improve our lives, but it would also reduce the wasted time we spending trying to fall asleep. I think that sleeping caps could have a widely beneficial impact on society by easily blocking out pointless distractions in favor of sleep, thereby reducing all of the harmful consequences that come from sleep deprivation. In a society immersed in distractions that continue to arise from further technological advancements, sleep has become a time-consuming effort that has began to take a lesser priority in the midst of our hectic lives. Sleeping caps fix this problem without consuming drugs that lead to morning grogginess. In addition, these sleeping caps would record our dreams that could be replayed the next day and potentially provide insight into why we are struggling to fall asleep in the first place. My main concern for this invention is that if it was invented as an affordable product, would people actually use it and choose sleep over other meaningless distractions?

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5 thoughts on “A Potential Cure to Our Sleepless Lives”

  1. This is a great idea for an invention, and as a frequent dreamer, I would love the ability to play back my dreams. A Sleeping Cap would lead to break-thoroughs on dream research and scientists could discover how dreams effect our reality and daily lives. The sleeping component would also have tremendous impact on our healthcare society and many diseases are linked to a lack of sleep. I think the important question to ask is not “would individuals use a sleeping cap” as so many people already use pills and other devices to achieve the desired sleep they want, but could be the hidden benefits of an invention like this?

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  2. I think this would be a really cool and insightful invention. I really value sleep and I certainly do not get enough of it. If we could be more efficient with the time that we designate for sleep, I think we would all benefit greatly. Additionally, the dream-capturing capabilities of the invention could offer interesting insights into our brains and thoughts in ways that I do not fully understand.

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  3. What if there was a way for us to recharge our minds and relax our bodies while remaining awake and productive, effectively eliminating sleep as an activity? That would be an amazing invention.

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  4. So important. I worry at Bucknell there is such a casual culture of “of course I pulled an all nighter.” Not a good idea.

    I added a red light filter to my phone because i read that certain wave lengths over stimulate your brain making sleep hard to get.

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  5. During the weekdays, when I’m done with my work, instead of going to sleep right away, I delve into distractions such as watching TV shows, and waste two hours that could have gone into sleeping, so I think a sleeping cap will help me and many others like me to stay away from distractions when you are ready to go to bed.

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