Don’t Waste Your Sleep – Apps and Hardware to Induce Lucid Dreaming
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lucid dreamingIt’s rare for technology to have such a developed presence in what are otherwise considered quite holistic practices, but lucid dreaming is one of those subjects where technology has indeed come a long way.

Today I’m going to take a look at lots of different hardware and software that’s been developed to help lucid dreamers the world over.

Lucid Dreaming and REM Detection Masks

The state of becoming conscious within your dreams and taking full control is the holy grail for dreamers. For some it comes naturally, others must work hard and practice mental techniques; and then there’s the curious technology of Lucid Dream or REM detection sleep masks.

I recently reviewed one such device – the Remeé Remee Lucid Dreaming Mask Review and Giveaway Remee Lucid Dreaming Mask Review and Giveaway The Remee Lucid Dreaming Mask (pronounced rem-may) claims to aid you in mastering the art of dream control; or as it's more commonly known, Lucid Dreaming. Join me as we lose ourselves down the rabbit hole;... Read More , a $99 device that began its life on Kickstarter – and we gave one away to one lucky reader (if you missed that, you really ought to subscribe to our RSS feed; be sure not to miss all of this month’s exciting gaming giveaways!). Though I didn’t have much success with it, some attribute this to it’s “shotgun like” approach of simply triggering the light cues throughout the night rather than only when REM periods are detected.

lucid dreaming

The Remeé is certainly not the only sleep mask on the market – the REM Dreamer ($240) uses infra-red sensor to detect rapid eye movements and only triggers the light cues during a dream state.

On the top end of the market is the Zeo Personal Sleep Coach, around $400 (hat tip to Sean Kelly @ LucidAcademy.com for pointing me towards that), a headband system that detects brain waves in order to more accurately detect the stages of sleep cycle. For more info, check out this extensive review from Lucidopedia:

Though the device itself doesn’t include lucid dreaming cues, it can be used to wake you at a specific point in conjunction with “wake induced lucid dreaming” techniques; or you can link it to lucid dreaming apps such as this one, or this one  on Android.

iPhone Apps

Dream:ON How To Master Your Dream Potential With Dream:ON [iPhone] How To Master Your Dream Potential With Dream:ON [iPhone] Last week, I looked at apps that genuinely help you sleep better by waking up at a moment when you'll feel most refreshed. This week, I found an app that does all of that, and... Read More is perhaps the slickest iPhone dream app I’ve found yet. By detecting movements (or rather, lack thereof for REM periods), it decides the best time to playback lucid audio cues. A variety of themes are available as in app upgrades to cater for every desire from countryside walks to deviant nights of Fifty Shades fun.

DreamZ ($3) is a similar app to Dream:ON, though the interface isn’t nearly as nice and there’s no free version.

Sleep Cycle Can An App Really Help You Sleep Better? Can An App Really Help You Sleep Better? I've always been a bit of a sleep experimenter, having for much of my life kept a meticulous dream diary and studied as much as I could about sleeping in the process. There are a... Read More ($2) won’t specifically help you lucid dream, but it will make you up feeling refreshed. If you’re practicing WILD, a 6 hour sleep period can be set before you go back to sleep again.

Dream Globally ($4) is part dream recall aid, part social network. With a combination of reminders to recall your dreams before you sleep and a gentle wake up that allows you to immediately speak your dreams (without opening your eyes or moving, which significantly decreases the chances of remembering g your dream). Once you’ve tagged and added your dream, you can choose to upload it to the DreamGlobally.com network. The interface is a little amateurish though.

Singularity Experience ($5) is designed for use with Dream Chaining, or DEILD, in which you attempt to “re-enter” a dream state immediately after waking, which increases awareness and therefore gives you a greater chance of being lucid. Sadly, the interface is so bad that even the app developer has mentioned – “THIS APP HAS THE MOST COMPLICATED USER INTERFACE YOU WILL EVER FIND. YOU WERE WARNED!”

Ultimately, lucid dreaming requires dedication and mental practice. The best place to start is not with an iPhone app, but with a notepad and pencil by your pillow. Write down as much as you can about your dreams every night; if you’re too groggy when you wake up or just can’t be bothered (and this will only work if you sleep alone), try using the voice recorder function on your phone to explain the dream and then write it up later. Getting to know your dreams and being able to recall them in ever greater detail in the single most important factor when it comes to learning to become lucid.

If you’ve think you’ve got the ultimate bit of kit for lucid dreaming, get in touch so we can sort out a thorough review; or if you have any suggestions for apps that I’ve missed, please add them in the comments.

I’ll leave you with an nostalgic clip of Potsworth & Co (known as Midnight Patrol in the US) – a kids show about a team of kids who lucid dream collaboratively to defend the dreamzone! They don’t make them like this anymore….

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  1. Alan Tunbridge
    January 7, 2016 at 8:13 am

    The DreamZ app was copyrighted in 2011, and its creators have had more than enough time to make it work properly. However, I downloaded the app from iTunes 10 days ago and it has not performed to specification. It does not allow the selected 'reality test' alert (either spoken or other signal) to sound during daytime, and it failed to record night time sleep phases on three of the five nights tested. Instead of recording sleep phases the app displayed a window saying that such recordings were not made when in "Manual Mode". Repeated requests to the producer Adam Siton to explain what 'Manual Mode' was and how to shut it down were ignored, as was my request for how to get selected alert sounds to trigger during daytime. Unfortunately, like many other app producers, Adam Siton is not bothering to correct the faults in the DreamZ app, even having over 4 years to do so. Why should he when this faulty app continues to sell? The producers of DreamZ are particularly reprehensible because they do not exploit customers' greed, like the Wall Street vultures, but they prey upon their customers' wish to create and explore psychological and spiritual possibilities. Do not buy this app: in its present form it is a scam.

  2. Matt Silber
    September 24, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks, I'm glad you liked it. That, "I’m shocked I didn’t include that feat of software engineering! Really breaking new ground there, eh?" line was a killer haha

    And personally I find replies like that hilarious, so no problem at all! But if you email me we can unlock all the features for you so you don't just have to take my word for it~

    • Anonymous
      July 22, 2015 at 4:17 pm

      Matt,

      I just wanted to tell you that I've been using Lucid Dreamer for some time and didn't find it particularly useful UNTIL I unlocked the features. The only feature I use now is "the paralyzer" and, no joke, EVERY TIME I use it I have a vivid lucid dream/astral projection experience. I'm assuming it works because it keeps re-awaking your mind as you sleep. I wish it could be played for longer intervals though - I have it set at the 60 minute setting and would like a longer play time. That said, the app itself is almost useless, but that ONE FUNCTION is worth the price of unlocking. I love it.

  3. Matt Silber
    July 12, 2013 at 5:03 pm

    I can't believe you left out Lucid Dreamer for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=guardanus.dreamer

    • MakeUseOf TechGuy
      July 17, 2013 at 10:22 am

      As the author of the app, you would say that.

      All it does is play sounds after a set time. I'm shocked I didn't include that feat of software engineering! Really breaking new ground there, eh?

    • Matt Silber
      September 23, 2013 at 8:42 pm

      1. Best reply ever.

      That being said:

      2. Completely false. First and foremost, Lucid Dreamer was doing post-sleep reminders years before any of the products you 'reviewed' were even concepts. I'm not saying that as a way to put them down, I'm just countering your snide remark about ground breaking technology (which was pretty funny, though. A+).

      You also seem to have missed the other features I've created, which include:

      1. A fully customize-able, fully localized, Polyphasic sleep clock that can be adjusted to help with ANY sleep cycle you could want.

      2. A PIN-protected Journal system with tagging, induction statistics, voice-recorded entries, etc.

      3. An automated reality checking system to run during specified time ranges with selective audible, visual, and somatosensory stimuli.

      4. A automated mental stimulation system designed to help achieve full Sleep Paralysis and direct lucidity induction.

      5. Two forms of focal-imagery dream-incubation techniques. One based on color psychology, the other related on a more personal level to the user.

      Would love to hear more from you, so please feel free to shoot me an email~

    • James B
      September 24, 2013 at 7:58 am

      That was a damn good comeback, Matt. (That was me, article author, MUOTechGuy btw, sorry, I mix up my two accounts)

      If I remember to charge my Android again (haven't touched it in months, gone back to reliable iPhone 4), I'll check it out more thoroughly. Thank you for the detailed outline - I get a lot of developers trying to pitch their crap, so I'm on the defensive 24/7. ;)

  4. LucidAcademy
    April 16, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Thanks for the mentions James :). I'm loving that you are exposing the world of lucid dreaming to so many readers.

    The following made me smile:

    "Ultimately, lucid dreaming requires dedication and mental practice. The best place to start is not with an iPhone app, but with a notepad and pencil by your pillow. Write down as much as you can about your dreams every night"

    Spot on.

  5. Ampage
    April 6, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    You can also combine the Zeo headband with ZILD, an app that will play sounds or flash the flash led on your android device when the Zeo detects REM to induce lucid dreaming!

    • LucidAcademy
      April 16, 2013 at 6:36 pm

      Has this worked well for you? In theory EEG + LED flashing is an ideal combo.

  6. Chris Marcoe
    April 6, 2013 at 4:53 am

    I'm kinda sad that there is not any Android apps like this. being someone who used to be able to lucid dream until I got back from Iraq, not being able to really sucks! Great article, though. Still has a few hints and tricks i'll try.

  7. Sadman Hasan
    April 5, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Liked! :D