3.4.1 The NovaDreamer
The NovaDreamer lucid dream induction device works by giving flashing light or sound cues when the user is dreaming. Users modify the device settings to find a cue with the right intensity and length to enter their dreams without causing awakening. In addition, device users practice mental exercises while awake to enhance their ability to recognize the light cues when they appear in dreams. The NovaDreamer includes a soft, comfortable sleep mask, which contains the flashing lights, a speaker, and an eye movement detection apparatus. The NovaDreamer's electronics are all inside the sleep mask. The NovaDreamer uses REM detection to time the delivery of lucidity cue and provides feedback on the number of cues given. It includes the "Dream Alarm" feature to boost dream recall. Users have a choice of a wide selection of cues and receive feedback on the number of cues they receive during a sleep period.
The lucidity cues of the NovaDreamer are intended to enter into ongoing dreams. This can occur in several ways. Cues can be superimposed over the dream scene, like a light flashing in one's face, or they can briefly interrupt the dream scene. The most common (and most difficult to identify) incorporation of cues is into dream stories. Little brother flashing the room lights, flash bulbs, lightning, traffic signals, police car lights: all are real examples of incorporations of NovaDreamer cues. The trickiness of cue appearances underscores the need to thoroughly prepare one's mind to recognize cues via waking practice.
The NovaDreamer offers a second method of lucid dream stimulation. This method arose out of the discovery that while sleeping with the NovaDreamer, 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, a button press 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 NovaDreamer. Dream versions of devices are notorious for not working normally.
What is Lucid Dreaming?
The basic definition of lucid dreaming requires nothing more than becoming aware that you are dreaming. However, the quality of lucidity can vary greatly. When lucidity is at a high level, you are aware that everything experienced in the dream is occurring in your mind, that there is no real danger, and that you are asleep in bed and will awaken shortly. With low-level lucidity, you may be aware to a certain extent that you are dreaming, perhaps enough to fly or alter what you are doing, but not enough to realize that the people are dream representations, or that you can suffer no physical damage, or that you are actually in bed.