I haven’t been able to get enough sleep to test the timer for a while. I did get to test it one night, and I do believe I can claim some sort of success. I was woken up by my alarm. It was quite startling to say the least, and I’ve reprogrammed it to be less intense. I managed to fall back asleep before it went back off, and had some very confusing short dream episodes. It’s quite foggy now, but I distinctly remember having a false awakening caused by the alarm. I was becoming suspicious in the dream when I woke up for real, or at least as far as I can tell. So those are some fairly promising results so far, and I’m going to test it again tonight.

Here’s to another attempt!

-Hatter

Popularity: 29% [?]

I’m taking another stab at the dream mask idea, except this time from another angle. Instead of using a face mounted mask, which had issues with staying attached as well as staying comfortable, I cobbled together a small little digital timer with a cell phone vibrator. I shouldn’t take credit for the idea, if you’re a long time reader, you might remember the few posts I did about VWILD, or vibrating watch induced lucid dream. I’m just implementing the concept. As a note, you could probably do about the same thing with a cell phone set to vibrate with an alarm. The advantage of creating it myself is control over the time, duration, and intensity of the vibration. It also leaves room for improvements, such as sleep state sensing (I’m working on it). For tonight though, it’s pretty simple. If you’re new to the concept of alerting yourself in a dream, here it is:

By setting some sort of alarm to go off at a set period during the sleep cycle, one that will be during REM, you can give yourself a signal in your dreams that you are dreaming. This is because external stimuli seeps into dreams. So in my case, I’ll try and drill it into my head that a buzz on my left arm means I’m dreaming. That is a fairly unique dream-sign that I shouldn’t experience in everyday life, so I should pay more attention to it in my dreams.

Hopefully this simple concept will yield some results. I’ll let you know tomorrow.

-Hatter

Popularity: 29% [?]

Galamantine and Choline: The Acetylecholine Boosters

(Note: if you’re a beginning dreamer you should probably go through the Introduction to Lucid Dreaming series before beginning this one)
Supplements may have unforeseen consequences, and using any brain altering substance may have consequences later.

Galamantine and Choline are going to be the primary aids that we use to help us induce lucid dreams. The combination of the two have specific effects on the neuro-chemistry of the brain, inducing a favorable state for dreaming. Simply put, both Choline and Galantamine increase the levels of acetylecholine (ACh) levels in the brain. Galantamine by inhibiting ACh’s breakdown and Choline by promoting its production. Why are increased ACh levels desirable? ACh and serotonin control the state of sleep we’re in. Serotonin promotes deep, dreamless sleep, and ACh promotes REM sleep. ACh has also been linked to memory formation and brain function. From my experience it helped my dream recall and my general awareness in the dream, from asking questions of the dream environment and using some of my waking logic although not actually gaining consciousness, to lucidity.

Now that you have a basic idea of how this works, Here’s how you use these two supplements to aid you in dreaming:

SAWBTB: Supplement Assisted Wake Back To Bed

This is not really a technique in itself, just as WBTB is a method for improving your success of other methods, so is SAWBTB. Used in conjunction with MILD, Simplified MILD, and WILD it can greatly increase your odds for lucidity. The technique is effectively the same as a typical WBTB:

Go to sleep around your normal time, do not consume any alcohol or caffeine or any other dream altering substances. Sleep for about 5 hours. (Anywhere in 4:45 to 5:05 is about right. Check out the REM graph to see the zone you want to land in. Remember you want to have some REM still left to dream in when you wake up) Get up out of bed when the alarm goes off (or when your internal clock does, or whatever method you use to wake up by.) My typical dose of Galamantine was 4mg and 500mg of Choline. Both are well below dangerous levels. Thomas Yuschak (The Author of Advanced Lucid Dreaming: The Power Of Supplements) recommends 4-8 mg of Galamantine and 250-500mg of Choline. The next part is dependent on how quickly you fall asleep and how groggy you are, as well as the technique you are attempting. You want to remain awake for a fair amount of time (or all of it, if you are doing WILD.) The peak blood plasma level of Galamantine is around 60 minutes, which is what you should try to land on for the end of your technique. For example, you’d want to fall asleep after having laid your intentions for MILD, or transition into the dream around now for WILD. I will leave the rest of the MILD or WILD details up to you, oneironaught.

Important Notes:

Choline Absorption

Choline increases the amount of ACh in the brain by a sort of diffusion. The higher the levels of ACh in the brain, the less Choline puts into it. This means that Choline is effective early on and not as much later, even though it’s peak blood plasma time is three hours. If you think you’re going to fall asleep more quickly then you want, you might consider taking a 500mg of choline to get more a higher ACh level more quickly. (Really put an effort not to, by the way. Adding a little choline won’t fix dosing off in a minute)

Galamantine Half Life
Galamantine plasma levels may peak relatively quickly (around 60 minutes) but the half life is a long one. This means that it takes a long time for it to filter out of your system. It takes roughly 48 hours to get the rest of the Galamantine out of your system. To avoid building up a tolerance to it (and ruining its effectiveness) try to space your attempts at least 48 hours apart. Three days is a nicer spacer. This also gives your sleep cycle a little time to recover from your meddling with the WBTB.

Using Galamantine or Choline Without a WBTB
Using these supplements before bed without a WBTB is a bad idea. As the REM chart demonstrates, the first half or so of the sleep cycle is mainly deep sleep. Taking Choline and Galamantine increase ACh levels, which promote light sleep. Pitting your body against external supplements does not cause success, generally it causes conflict and a messed up sleep cycle. (The reason this doesn’t happen as much in the second half of the sleep cycle if because it is primarily REM sleep.)

Part II may take a while to write. (Don’t wait around for it.) I do however plan to write it though, so it’ll be here eventually. I also plan on updating more frequently again, so check by again soon.

-Hatter

Popularity: 20% [?]

Lucid Plaza Release!

One of the big things going on at Dreamport has been the lucid plaza project. This project is dedicated to creating a digital world in which dreamers could incubate the environment and attempt to share dreams. A big landmark release happened today: Nachician released the point and click program, which uses screens from the models that Donoteat created. In this program, the user explores the environment in still photos with descriptions of what they are looking at. This is the first release, so additions are likely. As far as we know right now, the real time version of the program is on hold due to technical problems.

Now, just how useful is this actual program?

Somewhat useful.

This first release is just the basics. It’s got a picture of everything important in the plaza, although there was a lack of interior photos as well as a shortage of photos in general. This lack caused a sort of disorientation, at least for me, as I looked around the plaza. My suggestions for the second part of the release would be a less jumpy sort of walk, and many more pictures. Perhaps the forum’s manpower could also be turned to snapping images.

Good work so far Nachician, I look forward to further releases. With any luck, these aids will give the participants in the shared dreaming project on Dreamport an easier time of it.

-Hatter

Popularity: 5% [?]

The Lucid Plaza is another location that was created as a place for you to incubate. It was put forth that in order to incubate this environment more effectively, a type of 3D exploration of this location should be created. Luckily, Dreamport has a talented 3D modeler, Donoteat. He’s only been working on this for a few days, and it’s already looking great. The progress of the programming is a little harder to keep a tangible track of, but Ben says it’s coming along quickly as well. With any luck, you should be able to walk around the Lucid Plaza in under a few weeks. Here’s a few pictures of what he’s got so far:

lplaza10.jpglplaza9.jpglplaza7.jpg
(click the thumbnail for a full sized image)

These will probably be outdated soon at the rate that he’s going, so check the forum topic to keep up with the progress.

I’m looking forward to the completion of this project because when it is completed, it will be the most detailed and interactive dreamscape made for incubation that I know of. It will even surpass the lucid crossroads! I should probably mention that this is also where the shared dreaming attempts for the Dreamport party will be made. I hope it’s easy to get to!

-Hatter

Popularity: 7% [?]

I am shaman is a site dedicated to providing high quality and organic ethnobotanicals to its customers. This is a great place to get anything herbal or related, whether it be ginsing, kava kava, kratom, or my personal favorite Ginkgo Biloba. They sell leaves, tinctures (extract of the plant in grain alcohol) live plants, books, and incense components.

Those are their main offerings, but they also have a nice selection of meditation gear, including incenses. Many of the herbs they sell are also useful in aiding meditation.

If you’re interested in dreaming herbs, they also sell Calea Zacatachichi, which is famed as being one of the most powerful dreaming aids for lucid dreaming.

This is a great site, and I’m almost positive that you’ll find something there that you’ll like. Did I mention they have amazing prices?

-Hatter

Popularity: 7% [?]

More and more often I see some more of the online mainstream finally discovering some very old news. All too often they praise it like it’s some new revelation, or like it is some miracle. Worse yet, sometimes they miss the point entirely. Case in point: Engadget recently posted about a do-it-yourself sound and light machine.

First off, Engadget takes a very strange angle on the sound and light machine and calls it a “Legal trip inducer,” which is very far from the truth. I seriously doubt, in fact I’m not even sure it is possible, that you are going to experience anything near the magnitude of an LSD trip using a simple sound and light machine. It’s a meditative aid, not some fringe drug. Engadget also seems to think that it’s dangerous when they say

“Of course, we’re still a bit hesitant to put our retinas at risk in order to legally experience hallucinations, but be sure to hit the read link for the step-by-step guide, and tap the via if you’re interested in catching a video before subjecting yourself.”

I bolded the words I found particularly ridiculous. I’m not sure if they know that you’re supposed to close your eyes during a sound and light session, but there is no risk whatsoever (assuming you’re not an epileptic, if so, then obviously this is about the last thing you want to try) unless you somehow manage to get super bright LED’s or turn up the volume ridiculously high. As if people didn’t deafen themselves other ways anyways.

I have also seen several appearances of lucid dreaming on mainstream sites like Digg, who seem to have a continuing fascination with the subject. It pops up occasionally, and half of the time the article that was submitted is from the early 90′s, or was stolen from a book in the early 90′s. Add to that the fact that the people commenting tend to have little to no clue about it, and you prove that nobody on Digg actually reads the story, or knows much about lucid dreaming.

At least more people are realizing that these socially taboo topics, which until now have languished in bleak obscurity, are “for real” and should be treated with seriousness. Even if a lot of the initial reactions are a bit ridiculous, at least there are reactions occurring.

-Hatter

Popularity: 7% [?]

I am in the process of becoming a vendor of the light and sound machines sold by MindPlace. I will be offering one Procyon, one Proteus, and one Sirius. These are all sound and light machines of varying price and complexity. Light and sounds machines use sounds like binaural beats and light patterns to help alter the user’s awareness. I will post the specific prices after I actually have the products. I will also have a Thought Stream, which comes with Mental Games. This is a machine that uses galvanic skin response (GSR) to determine stress levels etc. The games help you train your reactions. I’ll also have some audio CD’s for meditation and some accessories for the sound and light machines.

To give you an idea of how much they will cost, the sound and light machines and the GSR go anywhere from 100-270 USD. Since MindPlace already offers them for the price I am required to sell them for, I’ll thrown in some other neat stuff to give you an incentive to buy from me. Other than helping me, of course.

These sound and light machines are pretty well known, and have a very good reputation for quality and effectiveness. Please let me know if you’re interested in any of them.

(required)
(required)

 

Popularity: 11% [?]

Does anybody remember Infinity, by BenDrummin? The program that garuntees a lucid dream within two weeks time. It has a 100% success rate with over 700 participants, so if you haven’t checked it out, I’d recommend it.

The real news is about Paradiso, BenDrummin’s newest program. This is like Infinity, except that it focuses on creating your own personal dream paradise. This isn’t to say that it cannot give you a lucid dream, however. You could very easily put signs in your dream scape saying “you are dreaming” or have a dream character politely remind you. Ben also said that he thinks this program won’t be as intensive as Infinity, so no more Bootcamp! Paradiso is about to enter the beta testing period, so I would recommend signing up for the beta if you are interested. 4 Testers will be chosen randomly from that group. There is another way to get into the beta however. There is currently a contest going on in the thread, which is to describe your personal dream scape. It can be with words, a drawing, a painting, whatever media you prefer. There is only a day left for this contest though, so hurry!

EDIT: Paradiso is now out, and can be downloaded at dreamport.
Here is the dream scape I’m going to try and incubate. It’s very abstract, so it may be difficult. I hope I am able to at least get parts of it though, because all of it is designed to function in the dream world. For instance, the mirrors are for viewing facets of someone’s personality, as well as your own.

Dream Home

-Hatter

Popularity: 3% [?]

The lucid mask is really one of the most simple yet complicated lucid dreaming aids that I have ever seen. It should be simple, just put it on and fall asleep. It manages to give me trouble, however. Falling asleep fast enough and then waking up at the right time, then falling asleep with it on and having it flash in the REM cycle is a very difficult way to use it. If I can’t get a night where I at least complete that list of steps soon, then I will just focus on Boxed Nirvana.

I must also say that Discreet Reminder going off late at night when you aren’t expecting it is quite startling.

I’ll keep plugging away at the mask, but it’s getting rather discouraging result-wise.

-Hatter

Popularity: 5% [?]