This Piano Chord Silences Nightmares

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Melanie Wilcox Contributor
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Researchers in Switzerland have discovered that the C69 chord can help cure nightmares.

The chord C69—C major, with a major sixth (the note “A”) and a major ninth (the note “D”)—decreases nightmares significantly while positive dreams increase, scientists wrote in Current Biology. (RELATED: Research Suggests These Are The Top 10 Sleep-Inducing Country Music Songs)

The scientists conducted a study on 36 patients experiencing nightmare disorder. All of the participants rewrote their most frequent nightmares in a positive light, which is called imagery rehearsal therapy (IRT). Half of the group received no additional treatment, while the other half created an association between a positive version of their nightmare and the C69 sound they heard during an imagination exercise, which they practiced daily. This group wore headbands that sent them the sound during REM sleep for two weeks.

“We were positively surprised by how well the participants respected and tolerated the study procedures, for example performing imagery rehearsal therapy every day and wearing the sleep headband during the night,” psychiatrist Lampros Perogamvros of the Geneva University Hospitals and the University of Geneva in Switzerland told EurekAlert. “We observed a fast decrease of nightmares, together with dreams becoming emotionally more positive. For us, researchers and clinicians, these findings are very promising both for the study of emotional processing during sleep and for the development of new therapies.”