“Bleed the mind. Inexpensive. " Is there any use for lucid dream masks

    Adam Good

    Paul McCartney heard the motive for the future super hit Yesterday in a dream, and Salvador Dali clearly saw his picture “Persistence of Memory” during an afternoon nap. Each person’s subconscious keeps innumerable treasures, but only geniuses are usually able to pull them to the surface. Other people, fortunately, can also learn this - with the competent practice of lucid dreams, fortunately, now special gadgets have appeared for their training.

    Creative insights, bright ideas and deep insights - this is a business of gain. To give them more or less regularly, the brain needs hard training, no less than the body in sports. There are several dozen methods of how to become aware of yourself in a dream. They are based on exercises to increase concentration and attention. True, it is more difficult than ever for a modern person who is heavy with the consumption of fatty information fast food to succeed in this field.

    What does a person do when he wants to get in shape? He goes to the fitness room, where he is waiting for treadmills, dumbbells and fitness equipment.

    Attempts to create a simulator that would facilitate entry into a state of lucid sleep have been made more than once in the twentieth century. But until Remee, all developments remained in research institutes and laboratories, not reaching the wide user.

    When a draft budget mask for Remee's lucid dreams appeared on Kickstater , the money of the backers poured in. For several weeks, the project gained more than 570 thousand dollars, although initially the inventors Steve McGuigan and Duncan Fraser wanted to collect a modest 35 thousand.

    Flashes of light

    Steve and Duncan are connected by a long acquaintance - they studied together in high school in one of the suburbs of Philadelphia. Steve later took up programming and web design in the United States, and Duncan traveled the world for a couple of years as a freelance photographer. Again they were brought together by a fluke - both at about the same time moved to Brooklyn and settled down on the same street without saying a word.

    “We have been friends for twenty years, but lucid dreams are not the topic that is usually discussed in society - all this is too strange and eccentric. Somehow, during a joint outing on nature, I just said a word, without attaching any special importance to the question: “Duncan, do you know what a mask for lucid dreams is?”, Recalls Steve.

    The conversation attracted friends, and they climbed onto the Internet to study the subject in more depth. Friends found on the network a powerful community of people practicing lucid dreams. On the forums, users shared their successes and failures, and the leitmotif was a complaint about the almost total absence of any auxiliary devices.

    There is demand, but there is still no product fully satisfying this demand, yet it is an ideal situation for an entrepreneur. Finding an empty niche is a success for any startup. Without delaying the case into a doggy box, friends registered the inventive company Bitbanger Labs.

    Electrodes and LEDs

    If we put aside esotericism and adhere to a scientific point of view, we can say that a lucid dream is an altered state of consciousness (along with hypnosis and trance), in which the sleeper is conscious of himself in a dream and can more or less control its content. That is, in fact, to shape reality by the power of one’s own thought.

    The dream of any person is divided into five phases. Vivid, catchy visions, including lucid dreams, occur only during the REM sleep phase - during this time, brain activity rises sharply, and eyeballs quickly rotate under the closed eyelids (rapid eyeball movement occurs, abbreviated REM - hence the name of the mask )

    Lucid dreams became the subject of scientific research in the nineties at Stanford University. Psychophysiologist Stephen LaBerge (later the main modern guru of lucid dreams) attached electrodes to the heads of sleeping sleepers that track the frequency of brain impulses. This helped to identify the REM phase - after the subject entered it, the LEDs light up on the inner surface of the device attached to his face.

    Flashes of light became the impetus for the subject to be half awake and aware of himself in a dream. The NovaDreamer mask has become a commercial version of this device, however, the high price of about $ 600 made it inaccessible to the mass user.

    “And I haven’t even seen ordinary dreams!”

    The principle of operation of Remee is much like NovaDreamer. At first glance, Remee is a commonplace mask made of dense fabric, but in fact it is a gadget stuffed with electronics. Inside the mask, in the area that comes into contact with the eyes, small LEDs are hidden. The gadget can be configured so that they light up at a certain time with a certain frequency. The sleeper should feel this winking through closed eyelids and be able to realize himself without waking up.

    In 2012, the device went on sale in the United States. “Decreased to the size of an atom. Teleport to Mars. Fly ”- that was the slogan of BitbangerLabs. It seemed that now any person will be able to shape reality in a dream by the power of thought. But soon after the start of sales, the forums began to be filled with disappointed reviews: “I put on a mask for the night and did not even see ordinary dreams!”

    Unlike NovaDreamer, Remee has no sensors that monitor brain activity. This, in general, is the secret of its availability and a stumbling block for many buyers - the sleeping person will not notice a flickering light at any other time, except for the REM sleep phase. And if you "missed" with the settings - you're in flight.

    However, you can track the period of REM sleep on your own. For most of the sleep, any person, as a rule, turns around - turns over from side to side and moves his legs and arms, and only during the deep sleep phase does complete immobility cover everyone.

    “For about two months, every night I monitored my sleep position using the Sleep Cycle app,” writes Digital Trends journalist. - It uses an accelerometer built into the smartphone. After about 40 days, I had enough statistical information to understand how long after I go to bed I enter the phase of deep sleep. ”

    Armed with this knowledge, he managed to adjust his Remee mask so that the light would light up strictly at the time he needed and quickly learn to enter a lucid dream.

    Training and training again

    Perhaps many people will be disappointed to find out that for the full use of the mask they will have to pretty tinker with, and even then the result is not guaranteed.

    But the goal of such a mask is to help enter a state of lucid sleep, and not just give a person control over his dream. In fact, between entering a state of lucid dream and fully managing it is the hours of training.

    You can’t pump up muscles with a miracle patch lying on the couch. You can not lose weight by removing only one food product from the diet.

    In the same way, the practice of lucid dreams necessarily requires considerable dedication and volitional effort.

    Remee is not a magic door to other worlds, but just a simulator that allows you to speed up the pumping of consciousness, without which it is better to forget about lucid dreams.

    But this effort seems to be worth it.

    “I sat at my desk, but the work did not go, my thoughts moved in a different direction. I turned my chair to the fire and dozed off. Before my eyes appeared atoms frolic and gathering in small groups. Chains of atoms crawled and wriggled by snakes in space. But what is! Suddenly, one of the snakes grabbed itself by the tail like Ouroboros and mockingly swirled in front of my eyes, ”- so the German chemist August Kekule describes a lucid dream that gave him a great scientific discovery.

    He spent the rest of the night working out a hypothesis on the cyclic structure of benzene, which was subsequently brilliantly confirmed.

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