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Face-mounted Lucid Dreaming MaskAll > Tech > Inventions > Face-mounted Lucid Dreaming Mask by natetrue
I find it a wonderful concept - every night you enter a fake reality (your dreams) and have the opportunity to break out of it (just like Neo in The Matrix).
Great news! - I have gotten a lot of requests to make the Lucid Dreaming Mask available as a kit. So now you can buy one! For $30 I will send you all the parts necessary to build the kit - a preprogrammed PIC, all the components, all you'll need is a soldering iron, solder, and wire cutters. I can also customize the program on it for you, to a degree. You can also buy fully assembled masks from me. To buy, head to the purchasing page. You can also view the assembly manual to see if you're up to the task.
When I first started reading about lucid dreaming, I found that some companies had created expensive pieces of technology aimed at increasing your likelihood of having a lucid dream when you wear it to sleep. I wanted one, but at the price of $200 they did not look so promising.
Thus, I decided to go in search of how to make my own lucid dreaming mask.
Almost immediately, I happened upon the Kvasar, a do-it-yourself clone of the NovaDreamer which tracks eye movement via infrared to determine the state of REM sleep.
I never built the Kvasar, because I believed optical eye tracking would not work so easily. It would require a light-blocking mask (terrible for keeping your biological clock running smoothly) and a potentially uncomfortable means of securing it to your face.
I was determined to find an easier solution. I thought that maybe measuring skin resistance (Galvanic Skin Response), an indicator of stress levels, I would be able to isolate the REM state. It was upon this basis that I built the first iteration of my Lucid Dreaming mask:
Unfortunately it was ultimately a failed experiment. Ends up the skin dries out during sleep, completely cutting off a GSR reading. Add to that the fact that sleep movement will alter the GSR reading slightly, and there is no hope of using GSR on such a small do-it-yourself device to measure sleep state.
There was also the issue of the accidental mind-controlling virus I put in there.
Until I had an idea.
A few weeks ago the idea hit me. Why bother detecting the sleep state at all? If I'm not dreaming, I'm not conscious enough to see flashy lights (so long as they're dim enough). So why not just wait until I'm asleep, and then flash lights at some predefined interval?
It was, of course, pure genius. With no inputs but the passage of time, the device could not fail. I would only 'see' the lights if I was awake or if I was dreaming. A simple reality test would tell the two apart!
Note also that I used white LEDs off of eBay here. You can use any color (red gets through eyelids the best), but be mindful of what the color means to you. You don't want to be giving yourself the wrong idea - imagine a dream filling up with blood just because you used the wrong color!
The first night I tried it, I had the lights set too bright, and it woke me out of deep sleep. I was groggy and I had to take it off.
Next night, I had the lights dimmer, but not dim enough. The mask woke me up only out of dreams - excellent! This was a very promising result. The timer was set to wait one hour before flashing, and to flash every 15 minutes thereafter.
After that, I let my friend Jesse try out the mask. He was stoked - while he didn't get any lucid dreams, he suggested that the mask have a different timing - wait 5 hours, and then blink every five minutes. That made sense - the time during sleep that lucid dreams happen most often is toward the end of the sleep cycle.
It took me a couple days to make another mask for myself (I had run out of spare parts!). When I had cobbled another together, I set it up for Jesse's suggested timing and went to sleep.
That night I had about four false awakenings (when I dream that I woke up - I think I'm awake but I'm still actually dreaming). Very disappointing when I woke up for real, and realized how many times I missed the lucid dreaming boat.
The next night was the night before I published this creation - and I had no less than three lucid dreams that night! Talk about successful. The whole story was that around 3 AM (after about 4 hours of sleep) the lights woke me up very softly (this was due to a calculation error in the 5-hour wait code; it was actually waiting something like 2 hours). I went to the bathroom and tried to go back to sleep with the lights teasing my eyes every five minutes - doing a reality test every time, because I was not sure whether I was still really awake.
The test I used was trying to get up and fly out of my window without using my legs. Kind of an advanced test but it left no doubt in my mind whether I was dreaming.
After about 30 minutes of trying to fall asleep with the lights flashing, I decided to reset the device so it would not flash at me as I went back to sleep.
Next thing I knew it was flashing at me, and I flew right out of my bedroom window. I was having a lucid dream! It happened a couple more times that night.
I realize a single night of lucid dreams might not be the most reliable way to make conclusions, but seeing as I have not had any other lucid dreams in something like six months, I would say it's a positive result. There are some other things to consider, though.
The Placebo Effect
Seeing as lucid dreaming happens entirely in your mind, the impact of the Placebo Effect can be huge. Strapping any device to your head and believing it will give you lucid dreams will itself increase the likelihood of lucid dreaming. Someone could stick a cell phone booster to their forehead and claim it gives them lucid dreams. And if they believed it, they'd be right. Of course, that doesn't mean it's not a scam.
Exercises for the reader
What might you do to:
I do believe my device works as a method of calling your attention to your current mental state within a dream. With minimal training anyone should be able to use it.
I think lucid dreaming in general has been hijacked by the new-age people who try to tack it onto nonsense like astral projection, out-of-body experiences, telepathy, precognition, and so on. That sort of thing hurts the credibility of lucid dreaming as a practice and art form.
The truth is that lucid dreaming is a fun way to spend the night. It can also be quite therapeutic, too. Just this last night I had the chance to fly over the most beautiful landscapes I've ever not literally seen, and it left me with a sort of euphoric glow that lasted the whole following day.
If you make one of these for yourself, please let me know how well it works for you, and any improvements you made, using the comment system below.
Again, if you'd like to buy one, head to the purchasing page. If you want more details, you can view the assembly guide too.
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