If you’ve been researching lucid dreaming for a while, I’m sure you come across various adverts and Kickstarter projects for electronic devices that help you to become lucid in your dreams. These tend to work by detecting the REM movement associated with the dream stage and with their electronic circuitry within the sleep mask, it give the user a prompt or cue, normally a flashing light or a beep, that becomes part of the actual dream and reminds the dreamer to carry out a reality test.
Do Lucid Dreaming Induction Devices Work?
There are also various Apps available in the smartphone market as well. These tend to play a message, through earphones, based upon your sleep movements. The message then becomes part of the dream and alerts you to the fact that you are actually dreaming. These tend to be less effective that the sleep masks in determining the crucial REM stage.
The first device I became aware of was the Nova Dreamer. I never did get the chance to test it out as it was always out of my price range. It seemed to disappeared from circulation during the 1990’s, although it is rumored that it is still being used in Stephen LaBerge’s Lucid Dreaming Hawaiian Retreat classes. As a fair few years have passed since its initial launch, I assume that the electronic technology is very old now. I would still love to try it out though.
The great Taoist master Chuang Tzu once dreamt that he was a butterfly fluttering here and there. In the dream he had no awareness of his individuality as a person. He was only a butterfly. Suddenly, he awoke and found himself laying there, a person once again. But then he thought to himself, “Was I before a man who dreamt about being a butterfly, or am I now a butterfly who dreams about being a man?”
Lucid Dream Headbands
If you carry out a Google search you will notice that the Nova Dreamer inspired many companies to develop their own lucid dreaming devices, with varying success. From lucid dreaming headbands to electronic sleep masks. And with the advent of the Internet and superior technological advances, many of these devices offer greater functionality and regular updates as the software improves. Many offer the user both a visual and audio signal, that the subject is in REM sleep.
The main principle of all of these devices is to give the dreamer a signal or cue when REM is detected. The user will then notice this signal within the dream and prompt him to carry out a reality check. As with all of these devices, timing is crucial and can vary depending upon the technology involved and the hardware used
Lucid Dreaming Devices and their cues
One problem with any of these devices is that the cue or signal can very easily awaken the user, which then defeats the object. Also the cue is not always recognized as a signal within the dream and can just become a part of the dream itself. You still need to take the time and train your mind to expect the signal if you want it to be successful.
” Starting the FIRST NIGHT! It has been getting easier each night to choose what I want to dream about” -Joe G
The effectiveness of these devices is debatable. If you read the advertising jargon, you may think that they almost guarantee lucidity every time you use it. If that was the case we wouldn’t need to bother with the other techniques that have been around for years and we would all be using the electronic devices instead. Of course this is not the case, although with the advances being made with various devices, this may change in the future.
One major plus of these devices is that, even if it was to awaken you, they can and do, alert you to the REM stage of the sleep pattern, which can be incorporated with other methods, such as MILD, to improve and increase their effectiveness.
Using them in a combination with various techniques, supplements and a positive intention, could quite easily become a very effective process for becoming lucid, with a higher success rate than if any of these things were used in isolation.
The bottom line with all of this is that the best device to help you become lucid within your dreams, is the one located between your ears.
- Help the user become alert to the REM stage of the sleep process.
- Can be used alongside supplements and other lucidity techniques, to increase their effectiveness.
- As technology improves, the devices available with become much more effective
- Sometimes the manufacturer’s claims can be a bit extreme.
- Sleep disturbances can be experienced resulting in the dream state being interrupted.
- Signals may not be distinguishable from other dream signs.
- Most of the time you ‘get what you pay for’.