Most people who hear about lucid dreaming want to try it. However, it usually takes dedication and persistence to learn this night skill. So, it is not surprising that many companies have engineered and marketed quick-fix solution-based products for instant lucid dreaming. One such product is the lucid dreaming mask. But, do lucid dream masks work or is it all just hype?
Almost all modern lucid dream masks don’t work. They lack the necessary motion sensor to detect R.E.M. and just randomly flash their lights. The light flashes must occur during R.E.M. but most masks rarely flash then. Some, no longer manufactured, masks do have this capability but are difficult to find.
Most lucid dream masks do not work
Almost all lucid dreaming masks on the market today are completely ineffective for inducing lucid dreams. I say almost all masks don’t work because I am not aware of every mask on the market. However, of every lucid dreaming mask that I am aware of I can say with some authority that they are practically useless for inducing lucid dreams on a regular basis (or even once for that matter).
Sometimes a person may get lucky using the mask and have a lucid dream but more often than not this is due to expectation and intention, or it happened naturally, rather than it having anything to do with what the mask is doing.
To understand why these over-hyped sleep masks are ineffective when it comes to inducing lucid dreams we most delve into the mechanics of how they work and why, in theory, they could induce a lucid dream.
How do lucid dream masks work?
The premise behind a lucid dreaming mask is simple. When we dream we tend to incorporate real-world sensations into the dreamworld. For example, if your physical body is cold while you are sleeping you may dream of being in a cold environment around ice or snow. If you feel air blowing on your face while you sleep, you may dream of wind.
A lucid dream masks works on the fact that we often incorporate stimuli sensed by the physical sleeping body into our dreams. The mask uses flashing lights as cues that we are dreaming. In the dream these flashing lights are often represented as flashing headlights or other visual phenomenon. When we notice these lights in the dream it can remind us to do a reality check and thus become lucid.
As I outlined in the article what causes lucid dreams, it is the act of being aware that you are dreaming that is responsible for lucidity. By far the biggest challenge to learning how to lucid dream is gaining the skill of knowing when you are dreaming. This is almost always done through recognising dream signs within the dream.
There are many ways to train yourself to recognize that you are dreaming most of which involve daily practices and specific lucid dreaming techniques. However, some clever people realised that they could use a totally natural phenomenon that occurs in dreams to help make this process easier and somewhat faster.
How physical stimuli leaks into the dreamworld
We have all had the experience of dreaming about something that was actually occurring in the real world. For instance, have you ever dreamed that a dream character is calling your name only to awaken and find that someone in the real world is actually calling your name?
A good example of how the waking world can affect the dreamworld can be seen in a dream that I experienced recently while boat camping. I was sleeping peacefully in a tent while having a non-lucid dream about a particularly blustery wet ocean voyage on a small ship. When I woke up I found that my tent was letting in rainwater which was falling all over me. I had incorporated that rainwater into my dream as ocean water – camping by the water on a boat trip may also have contributed to this.
Lucid dream masks use this phenomenon as an aid to inducing lucid dreams. They do it through the use of flashing lights.
Let me explain how that works.
Red light lucid dreaming
It is believed, and there is evidence to support this belief, that if flashing lights are shown to a dreamer they will naturally incorporate those lights into their dreams.
Who does red light lucid dreaming work?
By flashing red led lights at the closed eyes of a sleeper who is in the R.E.M. dream cycle it is very likely that the dreamer will see those lights in the dream. The lights are usually seen as the break lights of a car going on and off or flashing red siren lights etc. When the dreamer sees those lights they can then use them as a cue to do a reality check and thus become lucid once they realise that they are dreaming.
Unfortunately, a person must condition themselves during the waking day to look for flashing lights and then, additionally, they must perform a reality check. As our daily habitual actions and behaviours are usually also taken in the dreamworld, we tend to perform the same habitual behaviours when we dream as we do in waking reality.
So by performing a reality check during the waking day when we see flashing lights we are very likely to perform a reality when we see flashing lights in a dream. If you do not understand the power of reality checks or how they work read this short article.
So, as you can see, lucid dream masks only work if you also perform the necessary daily and regular reality checks. If you fail to perform reality checks during the day then you will likely not perform one in a dream and will merely notice the flashing lights and remain unconscious.
However, even if you are diligent in your use of reality checks during the day when you see flashing lights, most modern lucid dreaming masks will still not work because they have a serious design flaw!
Let’s look at that now.
Why most lucid dream masks don’t work
To understand why modern lucid dream masks are very ineffective for inducing lucid dreams we must look at the most important component of the very early lucid dreaming masks which modern masks do not have.
Modern lucid dreaming masks have no R.E.M. motion sensor making them practically useless for inducing lucid dreams.
Why does a lucid dreaming mask need a motion sensor?
A lucid dreaming mask needs a motion sensor because R.E.M recognition is key to the entire concept behind the mask!
The flashing lights of the mask are only effective if you see them while you are dreaming. You only dream during R.E.M. (rapid eye movement).
Modern lucid dream masks have no motion sensor to detect the rapid eye movement that indicates the sleeper is dreaming. They use an algorithm to generate random sequences of flashing lights with no pattern. This reduces the entire thing down to complete luck. Will you be lucky enough to see the flashing lights while you dream?
At best you may see lights flash very occasionally when you are dreaming but it probably will not happen enough times to make it statistical probable that you will become conscious – we often need to see dream signs in a few different dreams before we can use them to become lucid.
At worst these randomly flashes lights can actually disrupt your sleep if the lights awaken you, which is possible in the non-dreaming state.
Are there any lucid dream masks that do work?
So, most modern lucid dream masks don’t work but what about the early ones I mentioned that do have motion sensors … are there any lucid dream masks that do work?
The early versions of lucid dream masks, like the NovaDreamer, were equipped with the type of motion sensor I described above and they worked well because they immediately flashed lights when the sleeper entered the R.E.M. state. As we have multiple dreams each night that gave the sleeper multiple chances to become lucid, every single night. These masks were expensive and are difficult to come by today.
I’m sure you can tell that the NovaDreamer and similar devices were very effective when used correctly with the necessary daily reality checks. However, because reality checks alone are often enough to induce lucid dreams, and because the incorporation of a motion sensor greatly added to the cost of the mask, these types of masks are no longer made and not available to buy today.
If by some chance you can get your hands on one of these lucid dreaming masks used, or any other one that has a working motion sensor built-in, then you can rest assured that it will work – as long as you also perform the necessary daily reality checks when awake.
Does the Remee lucid dreaming mask work?
One of the more popular lucid dreaming masks on the market today is made by Remee. Although popular, and fairly cheap, this mask does not live up to its hype. Does the Remee lucid dreaming mask work?
The Remee lucid dreaming mask has one serious design flaw. It has no motion sensor to spot R.E.M. and flashes its lights randomly throughout the night. As it is necessary to flash the lights while you sleep it is hit or miss if the Remee mask will actually do this. So, for inducing lucid dreams the mask doesn’t work that well.
Just because a product is popular does not necessarily mean it is good, or even effective for that matter. The Remee lucid dreaming mask has been heavily marketed as a lucid dreaming mask but it is more useful as a sleep mask.
It seems Remee have better marketing executives than dream mask engineers, IMHO.
The Remee mask simply does not meet the criteria I outlined above for an effective lucid dreaming mask.
In order to help induce lucid dreams the mask must blink its lights when the sleeper is in R.E.M. state. As the Remee mask has no sensor to detect this state it just blinks its lights randomly. The chances of this happening while you are dreaming are very low. As I mentioned earlier the flashing lights may also wake you from sleep when they off in a non-dream cycle.
Although we dream several times each night, as I covered in this article, most of those dreams are very short in duration starting at 10 minutes and increasing in length as the night progresses. As I explained above, the only way a lucid dream mask can help to induce lucidity is if it flashes it lights while we are dreaming, i.e., in R.E.M. sleep.
However, with no motion sensor, to spot rapid eye movement, the best chance the Remee dream mask has of flashing its lights while you are dreaming is during the last dream of the night (that lasts about 1 hour) simply because it flashes it lights randomly. Even then it may flash its lights when the dream is almost over giving you very little time to explore your dreamworld if you are lucky enough to become lucid.
Therefore, the Remee lucid dreaming mask is far form an effective way to induce lucid dreams.
However, because it is so cheap, see it here on Amazon, and has at least a statistical chance of getting its light flashes right at least sometimes, it may be worth the small investment as an additional aid to help you lucid dream. If it helps you have your first lucid dream then it is worth it as lucid dreaming gets easier after that. However, don’t rely on it as a magic bullet to lucid dreaming!
You are much better using a proven lucid dreaming course that is similar in cost and will give you a much better chance of lucid dreaming consistently while also helping you to improve your night skills. The linked course also has an online community of lucid dreamers that help each other develop their skills.
It may take some time, persistence and a little patience to learn lucid dreaming the traditional way, but trust me, it is well worth the effort.