Every now and then, I have dreams where I become self-aware and realize in the midst of whatever crazy thing is happening that I am dreaming. As soon as I have this realization, I wake up — but with a new headband for lucid dreaming, I might be able to actually have some fun at night.
Though it is still in the late stages of development, the LucidCatcher headband from Kiev-based wearable tech startup Luciding promises to make controlling your dreams easier than ever. Learning to lucid dream without technological aids can be a fairly time-intensive undertaking that utilizes mindfulness, meditation, and dream journaling. It has been reported to take committed people between three and 21 days of practice to experience their first moment of lucidity, though in some cases it can take years.
Luciding promises that by using their product, "your dreams come true while you are dreaming. We use a device that detects you REM and let you understand that you are in a dream. After that, you can do virtually anything in your own dreamworld." Don the headband which sits snuggly on the wearer's forehead and use the app to ensure that the electrodes beneath the fabric (that will deliver neuro signals at 40HZ) are correctly lined up with the skin. Once you drift off to sleep, the LucidCatcher will detect when you are in REM, and send low-powered electrical pulses known as transcranial alternating current stimulation to the brain’s prefrontal cortex. Thankfully, you cannot feel these on your skin.
These pulses, which are said to improve insight and control, should make the user aware that they are dreaming. The dreamer will begin to question everything, and at this point Luciding recommends they take advantage of it, "Fly to the moon, or be a dragon."
Maryna Vermishian, chief operating officer of Luciding, extolls the benefits of lucid dreaming in an interview with GOOD, "Imagine that you can feel in a dream like you feel in your daily life, but better. You can travel, you can fly, you can do anything." This is attractive to many people who are looking for a new exciting experience, "Even people who already lucid dream, if they can increase their success even by 2 percent they will buy anything. They will take courses, or buy a new book, or buy a device," Vermishian told Good. "When people have a lucid dream they understand how great it is, so they want to have one every night."
Retired Harvard professor, Allan Hobson, who has spent his career researching the science of dreams, questions the headband and any product that promises boosted lucid dreaming. "People are right to want to be lucid, but if they think that a gadget is going to help them, and they don't try pre-sleep autosuggestion first, or they're over 40, good luck with a gadget. They're just wasting their money," Hobson explained to GOOD.
Whether you are excited or skeptical, it will be a while before the general public will be able to get their hands on the LucidCatcher. Pre-orders are closed, but once the product becomes available customers will have the option to buy it at full price (most likely in the couple hundred dollar range) or use it on a subscription basis. Try out the headband for three or six months and if time runs out and you are not satisfied, the headband will stop working. Of course, you can always train yourself to lucid dream for free, mentions Vermishian, "Of course people can do it themselves. No one is forcing them to buy anything."
Looks like I better get out that dream journal.