In a recent invention that seems no less than a science fiction movie, makers of a sleeping mask have declared that users of the mask can have lucid dreams that they can control. While the sleeping mask may seem like any standard mask, it has been named ‘Remee’ and is a special Rapid Eye Movement enhancing device that helps steer a person into lucid dreaming by making his/her brain aware about the fact that he/she is dreaming.
The goal of the sleeping mask is to let people have dreams as per their choice such as that of driving a race car to having lunch with Abraham Lincoln. The invention is the brainchild of Duncan Frazier and Steve McGuian from New York. The due, both aged 30, started a company named Bitbanger Labs after which they put up a project on the crowd funding website aiming at raising $35,000. By this week, about 6,500 people pledged $572,891 to fund Remee.
The sleeping mask features a series of six red LED lights that are too soft to wake a person up from sleep, but visible enough for the brain to register the sleep. The lights can be easily programmed to form a sequence of images as desired by the sleeper.
The sleep stages are broadly categorised into two groups, namely non-REM and REM. The sleeper oscillates these stages throughout the night with the REM stage lasting the longest duration until morning. Remee perceives the long REM stages and enters the dream with the help of the flashing lights and waits for about four to five hours for the sleeper to enter the heavy REM stage before the lights turn on.
The idea of the sleeping mask is simple. Imagine that a person is dreaming, is about to play the perfect round of golf in the dream and sees a pattern of red lights flashing in the distance that send a message to the person that he/she is dreaming. Once the person realises that he/she is dreaming without waking up, he/she can plan the sequence further.