SHADOW is an iOS app in development that, at its most basic level, will help you record and remember your dreams.
But there is a lot more to SHADOW than meets the eye. As I write, the creators are rounding up a Kickstarter campaign, having raised $77,000 (of a $50,000 target). Their primary goal: to create the world's biggest dream database and analyze that data. No doubt then, SHADOW is an ambitious app, created by some ambitious dreamers.
Essentially, SHADOW is a smart alarm clock that provides escalating alarms to gradually transition you through your hypnopompic state.
When you awaken, you dictate your dream and SHADOW will transcribe it into words - or you can type it into a blank text box. If you can't remember any dreams, SHADOW will ask you a series of questions to jog your memory.
Once the data is recorded in the app, you decide how far and wide you want to share it. SHADOW is designed to be social, but dreaming is inherently private. So it's really a judgment call - and every dream may be different. Keep dreams to yourself or push them to the cloud, where your personal data is removed and your dream content ready to be analyzed on a larger scale...
When combined with dream reports from other app users from all over the world, the SHADOW team can mine the data and make new discoveries about the nature of our dreams. Over time, patterns emerge.
As a user, the more dreams you record, the more accurate and rewarding the experience becomes. SHADOW visualizes your sleep and dream patterns and identifies common themes. When combined with other users' dream reports, it turns these symbols and experiences into insights.
All the while you're learning about yourself, the SHADOW team are working behind the scenes to organize the dream content into the largest database of human dream knowledge in the world.
Thanks to a rush of early backers, SHADOW reached its fundraising goal in the first week. The initial $50,000 raised will be used to create the iOS version of the app, which will be available from December 2013 onwards.
However, there are still a few days left to contribute to the app development, giving you early access to SHADOW as well as other bonuses. While the iOS version is fully funded, you can still contribute towards its more advanced features (an even smarter "smart" alarm), or you can pledge money to the Android and Windows versions, which haven't yet reached their goals.
If we're completely honest, lucid dreaming isn't really known for being the most social of interests. In fact, often it's a lone pursuit - just you, your dream journal and the landscape of your mind. But this technique called PAL (or Partner Assisted Lucidity) breaks down that wall and turns lucid dream exploration into a social event.
Members of our lucid dream forum have been asking how to create dream characters in lucid dreams. The most common problem is having characters who look nothing like they should. Or they seem disinterested in your company. Or they fail to show up on command altogether. So, how to combat this? It's a matter of finding creative solutions that bypass logical expectations.
To lucid dream, I recommend being able to remember at least one vivid dream per night. That will boost your self awareness in dreams (making lucidity more likely) and also means you can actually remember your lucid dreams. Which is nice. Here are four detailed tips on how to remember your dreams more frequently. And if you don't think you dream at all - trust me, you almost certainly do. It takes an extraordinarily rare sleep disorder to deprive someone of dream sleep.
It is estimated that these wise and wily Indians have been using mugwort in their healing and ritual practices for 13,000 years, where it is known as the ‘dream sage’. They use the herb to promote good dreams, which they consider an essential aspect of normal human functioning! But that’s not all...
Silene Capensis has been used for millennia by the Xhosa shaman of the river valleys in the eastern cape of South Africa, where it is known as Undela Ziimhlophe or 'white paths'. It's fragrant white flowers open only at night, when they emit a fragrant and almost hypnotising aroma. Also known as African Dream Herb or Ubulawu, Silene Capensis induces spectacularly vivid dreams - yet has never entered the mainstream and remains a fringe taste within western culture.
Experts agree that everyone is capable of having lucid dreams. Dreaming itself is a normal function of the mind. We all dream every night, even if we don't remember. And we all achieve conscious awareness while awake every single day. So what does it mean to combine these states? Why, the amazing ability to have conscious - or lucid - dreams. Sounds simple, doesn't it? So why do I keep hearing from people who say they can't achieve their first lucid dream?