Here are ten of the coolest lucid dreamy gifts for this Christmas - with tips on how they can enhance your lucid dream life.
The Melting Clock is a fully functional timepiece based on Salvador Dali's surreal artistic legacy.
Clock faces are often distorted in dreams because the language centers of your brain are largely shut down. So for a lucid dreamer, observing the clock face mindfully several times a day acts as a reality check. Are you awake? Or are you dreaming? It's a helpful reminder to be self aware - an act that produces spontaneous lucid dreams.
These remote control LED Mooncandles are great for Wake Back to Bed (WBTB) attempts as the lighting is both subtle and relaxing.
They can be set to red light so as not to destroy night vision, and switch off automatically after a set time has elapsed. Batteries are included and last for 50,000 hours (that's almost six years continuously). They're also ideal for romantic ambient lighting, with flickering and light mode, are child-friendly, and can be used indoors or outdoors.
A dream journal is essential for any committed lucid dreamer. It cements the memory of your dreams upon waking, making them more vivid and easier to remember in future. It also creates a treasured record of your lucid dreams.
Digital journals are all the rage now but I still prefer pen and paper. It makes the experience more visceral as I can write and sketch freely. An inspiring cover image make a journal extra special, so a gift like this Studio Oh! Spiral Notebook is useful for any lucid dreamer.
I've long been curious about digital painting and now that I've tried it - I'm hooked. I find it's an exciting new medium to bring my lucid dreams back into the real world.
Though it's been a while since I studied art in school, the basic skills have stayed with me, and that - plus a willingness to learn - is all you need to create inspiring paintings based on your lucid dreams.
Here's what you need to start digital painting on-the-go:
I just splashed out on an iPad Air. It's the first piece of Apple technology I've ever knowingly owned and frankly, I'm smitten.
This will be a Christmas present from someone who really likes you, because it isn't cheap. Of course, there are loads of uses for an iPad so it's worth the spend, but I've surprised myself by spending the most time using it for digital painting.
This acts as your paintbrush on the tablet screen. You can work solely with your fingertips but most digital painters find a stylus is just more efficient. I have a wallet-friendly Wacom Bamboo Stylus with which I am perfectly happy, but more experienced artists are more likely to go for a higher-end Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus. The important thing is you choose a stylus that's pressure-sensitive for the most realistic brush strokes.
The most widely recommended digital painting app among artists is Procreate.
As a bit of a Luddite, I was worried about installing an app I couldn't fathom and then never using it - but Procreate is very simple and intuitive. Pete, who is a graphic designer in one of his many roles, describes the app as "Photoshop Junior" with which I'm just fine, because to me the idea of mastering Photoshop is like conquering Mount Everest. Despite its apparent simplicity, professional artists can still achieve all kinds of amazing works with Procreate. Which is why it's popular across the artistic spectrum.
To fast track my painting skills I signed up to Louis Dyer's Digital Painting on The iPad. You can enter your giftee's email address to give them full access to the painting course. Louis is a lucid dreamer and a talented artist. His video tutorials talk you through different ways to approach the canvas, as well as cool techniques for painting dreams, like adding luminescence. I plan to do a future article about my progress on painting my lucid dreams.
If you're lucky enough to start digital painting this Christmas, please share your work in our Dream Art Gallery. I'd love to build the world's largest online collection of artwork by lucid dreamers.
In surrounding yourself with abstract artistic visions like this Surreal Fish Decal the goal is to reflect for a moment and perform a reality check, a very simple basis for having lucid dreams.
Most people start off well with reality checks but soon forget to perform them regularly, thereby missing the whole point. But with a pertinent reminder, placed strategically on a wall, laptop or phone case, you'll be prompted to perform reality checks more habitually.
In the very broadest sense, this is an Inception-style totem, designed to trigger reality checks if not definitively fulfill them. Every time your eyes land on the surreal decal, perform a mindful reality test asking yourself "Am I dreaming?"
Speaking of which, here's an intelligent book on the subject of lucid dreaming for those seeking a more comprehensive understanding of the matter. Forget the dozens of fly-by-night, how-to books which have emerged in the last year. Daniel Love's Are You Dreaming? Exploring Lucid Dreams: A Comprehensive Guide is the real deal.
Love shares numerous original insights and techniques, such as Catching The Butterfly; a method of inducing lucid dreams which he discovered at five years old. With compulsive attention to detail, he write elaborately on lucid dream history, as well as the potential applications like flying, wish fulfilment, rewriting history, solving problems, inspiring creativity, living as your future self and more.
A former mentalist, Love has picked up many useful mental tricks along his path, such as The Dream Peg System to improve your dream recall. It's examples like this that make Are You Dreaming? such a thoroughly original work on the subject and makes a superb gift for any lucid dreamer.
Dream Leaf is an advanced health supplement which promotes both dream recall and lucid dreams. It works using a handful of well-researched ingredients like 5-HTP, mugwort, huperzine-A, choline bitartrate and DHEA which activate the neurotransmitter ACh (proven to cause lucid dreaming). To the uninitiated, supplements aren't the silver bullet of lucid dreaming, but they can enhance your dream life and promote lucidity in combination with traditional mental techniques.
In my world, surrealism provides a delicious spark of lucid imagination. I can plot my lucid dreams around fantastic imagery... and then explore my unconscious unraveling of them.
Go one step further and create your own - with Surreal Digital Photography by Barry Huggins, one of the Amazon Editor's Favorite Books of 2014. It demonstrates how to turn ordinary photos into surrealist art through digital enhancement; exercising the imagination and being playful with the art of photography.
The Mindfold Sleep and Relaxation Eye Mask is designed to block light totally, making it ideal for open-eye meditation and exploring altered states of mind, any time of day or night.
It's a popular mask because of the deep eye cavities, flexible faceplate and VelcroStretch headband. This makes it one of the most comfortable and effective sleep masks for lucid dream meditations.
Follow in the footsteps of the original lucid dream researcher, Marquis d'Hervey de Saint-Denys (1822-1892) who discovered he could program his dream content by associating specific scents with specific memories.
Your sense of smell is intricately linked with emotional memory - which is why scents can be so evocative. By linking each scent from this Aromatherapy Starter Kit with different scenarios (eg, such as people and places) you can invoke dreams of the same subject matter by releasing the scent in your bedroom at night. With mental conditioning, these can also act as lucid dream triggers. Try it out and see.
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?