Day 95: Waking Life


April 4, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra

Today’s project has me thinking back to a time when I spent a lot more of my time conscious.  I slept almost as much as I do now, but I used to be an avid lucid dreamer.  If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of lucid dreaming, you don’t know what you’ve been missing out on.  Dreams are realms of nearly limitless possibilities – unbound by physics or biology or social norms.  There are some things that you can truly only ever witness while asleep.  At least until we get jetpacks.  Anyway, the ability to consciously control your dreams – interacting, manipulating and creating as you sleep – is a skill that takes practice, patience and a lot of good sleep.  It’s not something that come easily or naturally to many (or most) people, but it’s a skill that every living, dreaming person would surely love to hone.  Today’s project is a tool to help us take a shortcut to lucidity beyond our waking lives.

Remee is a sleep mask with a built-in array of LED lights that trigger a perceptible pattern during times at night when you’re in active REM sleep – the brief periods in which your brain is hard at work to construct the dreams that seem to last hours.  The lights aren’t bright enough to wake you (hopefully), but according to the Remee team, they’re able to make you aware of your being asleep, and thus more able to take control of the situation.

There’s a lot more to Lucid Dreaming than simply acknowledging that it’s real and crossing your fingers. It’s tough! Your body has a been dreaming one way for your entire life, so teaching it to dream a new way requires some effort. Dozens of websites have cropped up where lucid dreamers, novice and expert alike, flock to swap stories and tips. Some of these techniques include Reality Checks – a quick “lucid test” that requires forming simple habits during waking life that you then perform during dreams. Other methods, like WILD (Wake Induced Lucid Dreaming) involve taking a very active role in the process of falling asleep, which can lead to entering directly into a dream from wakefulness. Remee aims to make all of this a lot easier by providing recognizable external input into your dreams.

Interrupting your dreams with a pattern of flashing lights might alarm you at the time, but once you acknowledge the opportunity you have to seize control of the whole world you’ve dreamed up around you, I’ll bet you’ll wish those patterns showed up more often to remind you of your power over the universe.  When we dream, we’re unbound and our powers are infinite.  Remee might be a quick and easy way to get started in weaving your own dreams, so check it out on Kickstarter before May 18.


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