The Nova Dreamer is a lucid dream induction device that was developed by one Dr. Stephen LaBerge, the founder of the Lucidity Institute. The device is a sleep mask with infrared sensors that are positioned above the dreamer’s eyes. These sensors pick up the rapid eye movements of REM sleep, and the mask then puts off a lucidity cue in the form of patterns of light and sound, which can be preselected from a variety of combinations. These cues are meant to appear in the dream state and to encourage the individual to attain lucidity while asleep. The Nova Dreamer is probably the most famous of all lucid dreaming machines that have been developed over the years. At present, its production has been discontinued, although it can still be purchased second-hand online. A new generation, the Nova Dreamer 2 is presently in production and is meant to be available in the next few years.
Basically, the Nova Dreamer works by providing external reality checks when you enter the dream state. While you are dreaming, you should still experience the lights and sounds put off by the mask. The key, then to is to recognize that these are cues. One of the best ways to do this is to train with the Nova Dreamer while you are still awake. Rehearsing is pretty essential, because just seeing a change of light or hearing a sound in a dream may not necessarily seem unusual to you. Therefore, you need to cultivate awareness in waking life. One way to do this is to keep a journal of reality checks that you experience in the waking world. Pay attention while you are awake to changes of light or light cues that catch you attention, and be sure to write them down. Then, when you experience light cues in your dream, you will be more likely to realize that they are not realistic and that you are indeed dreaming.
It is essential that you work with your own methods of reality testing along with the mask. If you do not do this, the lights and sounds that you experience from the mask will probably just integrate in to your dreams and mean very little to you. However, if you become aware of an unusual change of light in your dream and are then able to do a reality check, you will almost certainly become lucid. As an example, imagine that you are in a room and a nearby lamp starts flickering. Even if you think you are awake, try doing a reality test by checking the time on your cell phone. If the time makes sense and the numbers are not shifting, you are most likely awake. If, however, the numbers refuse to sit still, or the time is something nonsensical such as 29:333, you will know that you are dreaming. As training to use the Nova Dreamer, I highly recommend that you start performing such reality tests any time you notice a change in light. Then, when the Nova Dreamer signals you in your dream state, you are more likely to do a reality check and come to understand that you are dreaming, thus obtaining lucidity!
The light cues from the Nova Dreamer can appear in many different ways in the dream state – as traffic lights, flickering ceiling lights, and so forth. Once you recognize these cues, they may occasionally disrupt the dream state, resulting in an awakening. At this point, it can be helpful to use dream techniques such as spinning around very fast in order to engage the dream body and remain in the dream state. Since you are not awake, you will notice that you will not get dizzy, but at the same time, you will become more conscious of your physical body in the dream state.
The Nova Dreamer also has a very interesting feature known as the Reality Testing Button. If you think you are dreaming and that you are still wearing the Nova Dreamer in the dream state, you take off the mask and press this button. When you are awake, you will see a flash of light coming from the mask. However, if you are dreaming and are wearing the Nova Dreamer mask in your dream, you likely will not experience this flash, and then you will understand that you have entered the dream state.
I have tried out several different lucid dreaming machines over the years, and the Nova Dreamer is definitely the best I have worked with. It is fairly comfortable, and since you can modify the intensity and the frequency of the lights and the sounds that it produces, it is easy to adjust depending on how heavily you tend to sleep. With other lucid dreaming machines, I have sometimes found that the signals they put off are so intense that they pull me awake immediately, as I am a fairly light sleeper. However, with the adjustability of the Nova Dreamer, this is not a problem.
The Nova Dreamer is definitely an amazing way to train yourself to have lucid dreams. However, it comes with a fairly hefty price tag, even second hand. Don’t feel that you need to purchase this machine just to have a lucid dream – there are plenty of easy and totally free methods of entering lucid dream states, too! However, if you are looking in to lucid dreaming machines as a method of working with your dreams, I would recommend the Nova Dreamer. It is fairly customizable and very effective, so you will be sure to obtain the results you are looking for with just a little bit of practice!