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LUCID DREAM INDUCTION DEVICES

LUCID DREAM INDUCTION DEVICES

Postby SifGreyWillow on Thu Dec 04, 2008 10:59 am

From: SifGreyWillow Sent: 8/5/2008 12:48 AM
LUCID DREAM INDUCTION DEVICES

The Lucidity Institute offers several electronic devices that help people achieve lucid dreams. They were developed through laboratory research at Stanford University by LaBerge, Levitan, and others. The basic principle behind all of these devices is as follows: The primary task confronting someone who wishes to have a lucid dream is to remember that intention while in a dream. We often remember to do things while awake through reminders: notes, strings around fingers, alarms, and so on. However, such reminders are of little use in dreams, although there are other kinds of reminders that are in fact helpful. The observation that some sensory events are occasionally incorporated into ongoing dreams (like your clock radio or the neighbor's saw appearing disguised in your dream rather than awakening you) led to the idea of using a particular sensory stimulus as a cue to a dreamer to become lucid. For example, a tape recording of a voice saying "You're dreaming" played while a person is in REM sleep will sometimes come through into the dream and remind the person to become lucid. In our research we settled on using flashing lights as a lucidity cue, because they had less tendency to awaken people than sound and were easy to apply. The DreamLight and NovaDreamer devices also have a sound cue option, which is useful for people who sleep more deeply.

The DreamLight and NovaDreamer both work by giving users flashing light cues when they are dreaming. Users work with their devices to find an intensity and length of cue that enters their dreams without awakening them. In addition, device users should practice mental exercises while awake for the best preparation for recognizing the light cues when they appear in dreams. The devices are based around a soft, comfortable sleep mask, which contains the flashing lights. The DreamLight and NovaDreamer detect the rapid eye movements of REM sleep, when the wearer is likely to be dreaming, and give cues when the level of eye movement activity is high enough.

These lucid dream induction devices offer a second method of lucid dream stimulation. This method arose out of the discovery that while sleeping with the DreamLight, people frequently dreamed that they awakened wearing the device, and pressed the button on the front of the mask to start the "delay," a feature that disables cues while you are drifting off to sleep. Ordinarily, the button would cause a beep to tell you that you had successfully pressed it. However, people were reporting that the button was not working in the middle of the night. Actually, they were dreaming that they were awakening and pressing the button, and the button did not work because it was a dream version of the DreamLight. Dream versions of devices are notorious for not working normally. Once people were advised that failure of the button in the middle of the night was a sign that they were probably dreaming, they were able to use this "dreamsign" reliably to become lucid during "false awakenings" with the DreamLight. This "reality test" button turned out to be so useful that it became an important part of all the lucid dream induction devices developed by the Lucidity Institute. Research suggests that about half of the lucid dreams stimulated by the devices result from using the button for reality tests.

HOW WELL DO LUCID DREAM INDUCTION DEVICES WORK?

The Lucidity Institute's lucid dream induction devices are designed to help people achieve lucidity by giving them cues while they are dreaming and a reliable means of testing their state of consciousness. They do not *make* people have lucid dreams any more than an exercise machine makes people have muscles. In both cases the goal, muscles or lucid dreams, result from practice. The machines just make it easier to get the desired results. Several factors enter into success with one of these devices. One is how well the device (or in the case of the DreamLink, the user) catches REM sleep with the sensory cues. Another is how reliably the cues enter into the dream without awakening the sleeper. A third factor is how well the device user does at correctly recognizing cues in dreams and becoming lucid. Finally, the user's commitment to performing reality tests every time upon waking up wearing the device has a lot to do with success. All four of these factors are, to some extent, controllable by the device user: adjustment of eye movement sensitivity to catch REM sleep, selecting a cue that enters dreams without causing awakenings, mental preparation to recognize cues in dreams, and resolution to do reality tests. Therefore, it is difficult to obtain a truly representative measurement of the effectiveness of the devices. Nonetheless, research with various versions of the DreamLight have shown that it definitely helps people have more frequent lucid dreams.

The most recent study was done with the current model of the DreamLight. A complete write-up of the experiment is in NightLight 5.3. In brief, fourteen people who were well-versed in DreamLight use compared two conditions. They believed they were trying two different types of cues. However, in fact in one condition they received no cues at all, as a sort of "placebo" condition. It was possible for the subjects to not know they were not getting any cues, because the DreamLight generally does not give cues when the wearer is awake (the result of the body movement sensor). Thus, the study examined how much the DreamLight's light cues contributed to the achievement of lucid dreams. Nights on which the DreamLight gave cues were called "CUED" and no-cue nights were called "PLACEBO".

Eleven of the 14 subjects reported at least one lucid dream during the study. Eight of the 11 (73%) had more lucid dreams on CUED nights, two (18%) had equal numbers, and only one (9%) had more on the PLACEBO nights. The average number of lucid dreams per person in the CUED nights was 0.30 (one lucid dream per 3 nights) versus 0.09 for PLACEBO nights (one lucid dream every 11 nights), a statistically significant nearly three-fold increase in lucid dreaming frequency. Clearly, the DreamLight cues help people to become lucid. Subjects reported about nine times more cue incorporations on CUED than on PLACEBO nights (CUED: 73 total, 0.90 per night average; PLACEBO: 9 total, 0.11 per night average). Dream recall was also higher on CUED nights; subjects recalled an average of 3.2 dreams per night in the CUED condition, versus 2.6 per night in the PLACEBO condition.

An earlier study with a different version of the DreamLight showed a five-fold increase in lucid dreaming frequency when people used the Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreaming (MILD) mental technique in conjunction with the device, compared with using no device and no mental technique. Using the device without mental techniques worked about as well as just using the mental technique, which was in both cases an improvement over using nothing.

In summary, at this stage the lucid dream induction devices can definitely help people learn to have more lucid dreams, or to have lucid dreams in the first place. Important factors contributing to success are good dream recall (and the DreamLight and NovaDreamer also can be used to boost dream recall), diligent mental preparation by the user, and careful adjustment of the device by the user to fit individual needs for cueing and REM detection. No device yet exists that will make a person have a lucid dream.

DREAM SPINNING: HOW TO PREVENT PREMATURE AWAKENING

At first, beginners may have difficulty remaining in the dream after they become lucid. This obstacle may prevent many people from realizing the value of lucid dreaming, because they have not experienced more than the flash of knowing they are dreaming, followed by immediate awakening. Two simple techniques can help you overcome this problem. The first is to remain calm in the dream. Becoming lucid is exciting, but expressing the excitement can awaken you. Suppress your feeling somewhat and turn your attention to the dream. If the dream shows signs of ending, such as a loss of detail, vividness and apparent reality of the imagery, "spinning" can help bring the dream back. As soon as the dream starts to fade, before you feel your physical body in bed, spin your dream body like a top. That is, twirl around like a child trying to get dizzy (you don't get dizzy during dream spinning because your physical body is not spinning around). Remind yourself, "The next scene will be a dream." When you stop spinning, if it is not obvious that you are dreaming, do a reality test. Even if you think you are awake, you may be surprised to find that you are still dreaming!

WHERE TO FIND LUCID DREAMING TRAINING

Over the past decade, exercises, techniques and training materials have been developed and refined to the point where most anyone should be able to learn to have more lucid dreams if they are willing to give it some time and effort. The Lucidity Institute offers lucid dreaming training through several modalities. To start, most bookstores carry (or can easily get) the book Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming by LaBerge and Rheingold (Ballantine, 1990), or you can order it from the Lucidity Institute. It presents a step-by-step training program with exercises and an introduction to the various possible applications of lucid dreaming. The basic structure in this book is greatly expanded and augmented by the Lucidity Institute's workbook A Course in Lucid Dreaming. The course is five units, taking a minimum of 4 months to complete, and it guides you through completing a series of progressive exercises to build up your lucid dreaming ability. It uses EWLD as a textbook.

An intensive overview of lucid dreaming techniques is presented at Lucidity Institute Lucid Dreaming Training Programs. These workshops are often offered as a package with the purchase of a Lucidity Institute lucid dream induction device (DreamLight or NovaDreamer). So far, most of the Training Programs have been held in California, but the Lucidity Institute will give one wherever there is enough interest. Dr. LaBerge also gives weekend seminars at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California about once a year, as well as occasional lectures and workshops at other venues. To find out about upcoming events, contact the Lucidity Institute (via Email at info@lucidity.com or telephone at +1-650-321-9969).

RECOMMENDED BOOKS ON LUCID DREAMING

This is a selection of some recommended books and tapes on lucid dreaming. The titles marked with an asterisk (*) are available from the Lucidity Institute.

*LUCID DREAMING, by Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D., (Ballantine, 1986; ISBN 0-345-33355-1) This is the seminal work that first brought lucid dreaming to the attention of the general public and legitimized it as a valuable field of scientific inquiry. It is still the best general reference on lucid dreaming, and a pleasure to read. The phenomenon of lucid dreaming is explored from many angles, beginning with the history of the practice in human cultures. LaBerge describes the early days of the scientific research and tells the story of his successful challenge of the established school of thought in sleep research, which held that awareness while dreaming was impossible. He discusses many methods of lucid dream induction, including the way he taught himself to have lucid dreams several times in one night. Other topics covered include: applications of lucid dreaming, the relationship of lucid dreaming to out-of-body and near-death experiences, and the possibility of lucid dreaming serving as a gateway or stepping stone on the path to spiritual enlightenment.

*EXPLORING THE WORLD OF LUCID DREAMING, by Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D. and Howard Rheingold (Ballantine, 1990; ISBN 0-345-37410-X) A practical guide for lucid dreamers. The first half of the book establishes a basic understanding of sleep and dreams, followed by a progressive series of exercises for developing lucid dreaming skills. These include cataloging "dreamsigns," your personal landmarks that tell you when you are dreaming, the ReflectionIntention and MILD techniques for becoming lucid within the dream and methods of falling asleep consciously based on ancient Tibetan Yoga practices. After presenting the lucid dream induction techniques, Dr. LaBerge explains his understanding of the origin of dreams, founded on current views in the sciences of consciousness and cognition. This provides a foundation for the methods of employing lucid dreams to enhance your life, which are detailed in the second half of the book. The applications considered are: adventures and explorations, rehearsal for living, creative problemsolving, overcoming nightmares, healing, and discovery of expanded awareness and spiritual experience. Many delightful and illuminating anecdotes from lucid dreamers illustrate the use of lucid dreams for each application.

*CONSCIOUS MIND, SLEEPING BRAIN, edited by Jayne Gackenbach, Ph.D. and Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D. (Plenum, 1988; ISBN 0-306-42849-0) Nineteen dream researchers and other professionals contributed to this scholarly volume. It represents a wide spectrum of viewpoints in the field of lucid dreaming study, and is an essential reference for anyone interested in studying lucid dreams or applying them in clinical practice. Topics include: literature, psychophysiology, personality, therapy, personal experience, related states of consciousness, and more.

LUCID DREAMS, by Celia E. Green (Hamish Hamilton, London, 1968) This is the classic book that inspired Dr. LaBerge to begin his studies of lucid dreaming. Green supplemented the scant published literature on lucid dreaming (e.g., the Marquis de Saint-Denys and Frederik van Eeden) with case histories from her own informants to put together a concise and thoughtful picture of the phenomenology of lucid dreaming. A bit dated, but still worth reading 25 years later.

DREAMS AND HOW TO GUIDE THEM, by The Marquis d'Hervey de Saint-Denys, edited by Morton Schatzman, M.D. (Duckworth, London, 1982) A great pioneer of the art of lucid dreaming, the Marquis first published this exploration of lucid dreaming in 1867, yet this is a very modern, and, yes, lucid, thesis. He describes his personal experiments, and the development of his ability to exercise control in his lucid dreams.

PATHWAY TO ECSTASY: THE WAY OF THE DREAM MANDALA, by Patricia Garfield, Ph.D. (Prentice Hall, 1989) Delightfully told story of Patricia Garfield's transcendent and erotic adventures with lucid dreaming.

*CONTROLLING YOUR DREAMS, by Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D. (Audio Renaissance Tapes, Inc., 1987, 60 minutes) This audio cassette tape captures the essence of Dr. LaBerge's public lectures on lucid dreaming. It is highly informative and inspirational. Use it as an excellent introduction to the topic or a concise refresher. Dr. LaBerge begins by portraying the experience of lucid dreaming. He then presents methods for learning the skill, including the powerful MILD technique. The descriptions he gives of possible applications of lucid dreaming, from creative problem solving and rehearsal for living, to overcoming nightmares and achieving greater psychological integration, will encourage you to learn this valuable skill.

*TRANCE INDUCTION OF LUCID DREAMING, by Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D. (The Lucidity Institute, 1993, 40 minutes) Dr. LaBerge's trance induction is designed to help you create a mind-set in which lucid dreaming will happen easily. The hypnotic induction begins with progressive relaxation accompanied by guided visualization of calming images. Once you have attained a peaceful state of mind, Dr. LaBerge gives you suggestions for creating your own certainty that you will succeed at having lucid dreams. You will come up with a personal symbol for conjuring your confidence in your ability whenever you desire.

LUCIDITY INSTITUTE CONTACT INFORMATION

•Email: faq@lucidity.com

•Mailing list: Keep up-to-date with lucid dreaming news (web site updates, events, experiments, new product announcements and special offers, etc.) by filling out a short form for the Lucidity Institute mailing list.

•Web site: The Lucidity Institute maintains a WWW site at http://www.lucidity.com/ and an anonymous ftp site at ftp://ftp.lucidity.com/. Currently available files include the Lucidity Institute Catalog, workshop announcements, this FAQ, and various articles from NightLight. Files can also be emailed on request.

•Telephone: +1-650-321-9969 or 1-800-GO LUCID (465-8243) * Fax: +1-650-321-9967

•Postal: 2555 Park Blvd., #2, Palo Alto, CA 94306-1919

•Dream Telepathy: Not perhaps the most reliable means of contacting us, but who knows?
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Copyright Notice Copyright 1994-1996 by The Lucidity Institute, Inc. All rights reserved. Permission for non-commercial use is hereby granted, provided that this file is distributed intact. Last modified August 04, 1997 (faq@lucidity.com).
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