from the are-made-of-this dept
Arianna Huffington has been talking about the importance of "sleeping your way to the top" for years now, though in just doing a search to find some of her earlier speeches for that I see Huffington Post, just yesterday, ran another article on this. Of course, she means the importance of getting a good night's sleep (which is exactly what you thought, right?). For this week's awesome stuff, we've got three crowdfunding projects related to sleep and dreaming.
- First up, we've got SHADOW, the Community of Dreamers. It's an interesting project, trying to build software and a community to help people "remember and record" your dreams -- and then share that data, such that it might become useful someday. Like many people, I will often wake up from an interesting/strange/amusing/amazing/frightening dream and think that it was so vivid that I'm bound to remember it, only to have it completely fade away within a short while. The goal here is to prompt people to record their dreams the moment they wake up (the app itself is an alarm clock that gradually wakes you up, like plenty of others on the market, but then prompts you to record your dream). And, then the information is "anonymized" (which sounds easy in theory, but isn't always in practice) and added to the database with some metadata (again, making me not so sure how anonymous it really is...). Still, an interesting project, though, I'm not convinced that there's any great global linkage to be gleaned from everyone's dreams, as the creators imply. It still might make an interesting research dataset though -- though, just wait until the NSA hacks into it.
- Next up, we've got Luci, the lucid dreamer inducer. When I was a kid, I first read about lucid dreaming in Richard Feynman's collection of memoirish stories, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, in which he talks about his own experience figuring out how to realize he was in a dream and then controlling the experience. Of course, today people probably think of the movie Inception or something like that. After reading about Feynman's experience, I tried to copy what he did with no luck, and even checked a few books on "lucid dreaming" out of the library -- and still no luck. So I gave up and really stopped thinking about it altogether. But I know some people get really into it, and there are a few devices on the market that claim to be able to help, with this being another one. However, most of the other products are masks that detect REM and then flash some lights in your eyes, which you then need to realize means you're in a dream. These guys claim that Luci does more by using brainwaves, and a voice telling you you're in a dream. I have no idea how effective this actually is. The company shows its own tests, but they appear to lack basic scientific rigor (even at the most basic level).
- And, finally, we've got the other semi-obsession of many people I know when it comes to discussions about sleep: polyphasic sleep (sleeping in a bunch of shorter bursts, rather than getting a full night's sleep at once). There are a bunch of apps out there to help people who want to switch to a polyphasic sleep system, but SmartSleep is working on one that looks decent, with some cool features if you really want to try out polyphasic sleep. Unlike a lot of apps I've seen that are just alarm clock/nap timers, this one really seems focused on helping out with polyphasic sleep, including helping to automatically adjust your sleep schedule if you miss a nap and providing additional information on polyphasic sleep.