NovaDreamer Operation Manual

The Lucidity Institute, Inc. © 2001

Writing: Lynne Levitan
Editing, design & production: Stephen LaBerge
Thanks to: Forrest Bennett, Jake Becker, Jerry Durand, Steven Gillenwater, Ruth Sacksteder, Rob Shaw, Kayvan Sylvan, Rachel Steiner, Jeff Watson, Craig Webb & Mushkil Gusha

The Lucidity Institute, Inc.
U.S. patent 5,507,716


This warranty covers all defects in material and workmanship for 12 months from the date of original purchase, or the date of shipment from Lucidity Institute to the purchaser, whichever is later. This warranty does not cover damage to or deterioration of NovaDreamer components resulting from accident, misuse, neglect, unauthorized repair or failure to follow instructions in the manual. This warranty does not cover units that have been modified or altered. The only exception is an Authorized Lucidity Institute modification which includes its own warranty coverage. This warranty does not cover damage that may occur during shipping. Software/Firmware are sold as is and are not covered by warranty. Lucidity Institute accessory items are covered under a separate limited warranty.

Before returning a device for repairs, the owner must receive a return authorization number from the Lucidity Institute. Units returned for factory service must prominently display the return authorization number on the outside of the shipping carton and on all related documents, or units may be returned freight collect. The owner pays all shipping costs to and from the factory. Shipment of the product to the Lucidity Institute is the responsibility of the owner, and should be insured by the owner for the full value of the product.


Any implied warranties, including warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose are limited in duration to the length of this warranty. The Lucidity Institute's liability, for any defective product, is limited to repair or replacement of the product. The Lucidity Institute shall not be liable under any circumstances for: 1. Damages based upon inconvenience, loss of use of the unit, loss of time, interrupted operation or commercial loss. 2. Any other damages, whether incidental, consequential or otherwise, except damages which may not be excluded under applicable law. SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW LIMITATIONS ON HOW LONG AN IMPLIED WARRANTY LASTS AND/OR DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES SO THE ABOVE LIMITATIONS MAY NOT APPLY TO ALL OWNERS.

CAUTION: There are no user servicable parts inside of or on the unit. Users who wish to service their own units do so at their own risk. This will void any warranty expressed or implied.


Flashing lights can induce seizures in photo-sensitive epileptics, and although no seizures have been induced by the NovaDreamer, epileptics or those with a family history of epilepsy should not use the NovaDreamer. If you are now (or have been) in psychotherapy and want to experiment with lucid dreaming and the NovaDreamer, talk it over with your therapist. Not every therapist will be well informed about lucid dreaming and its implications for therapy, so make sure your therapist understands what you are talking about and is familiar with the current literature on the subject. Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming (LaBerge & Rheingold, 1990) offers ideas of how lucid dreaming may be instrumental in psychotherapy. If your therapist doesn't think that lucid dreaming would be a good idea for you at this time, follow his or her advice. If you disagree, you should either trust the judgment of your current therapist on this issue, or find another therapist--ideally one who knows how to help you work with your lucid dreams therapeutically.

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Introduction to Lucid Dreaming and the NovaDreamer

Lucid dreaming is dreaming with full awareness that you are dreaming. Lucid dreams happen during sleep, just like ordinary dreams. In lucid dreams, because you know that you are dreaming, you are free to do anything you want, to experience anything imaginable, to do the impossible. To attain this freedom, however, you must "awaken" within the dream; you must recognize that you are dreaming. This is where the NovaDreamer comes in.

The NovaDreamer will be your personal trainer as you work to develop your ability to have lucid dreams. It will watch as you sleep, alert for the times when you enter REM sleep and begin dreaming. Then it will assist you in two ways toward achieving lucidity in your dreams: through lucidity cues and reality testing. In addition, you can use the NovaDreamer's DreamAlarm to enhance your dream recall. The NovaDreamer's techniques for stimulating dream awareness are described in detail below.

1. Lucidity Cues

The NovaDreamer will give you reminders to become lucid while you are dreaming, in the form of flashing light or beeping sound cues. The light comes from red light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in the eye holes of the mask; the sound comes from a speaker located behind the foam at the top of the mask. The NovaDreamer decides when to give you cues based on the number of movements your eyes are making. Frequent eye movements indicate that you are dreaming. Whenever the NovaDreamer detects enough eye movement activity, it will turn on the cue for you to become lucid.

This technique of cueing lucidity makes use of the fact that some kinds of events in your sleeping environment can enter your awareness, and hence, your dreams. You may have experienced this phenomenon if an alarm clock, telephone, or other noise has ever entered into your dream as part of the ongoing dream story. Flashing lights work well as cues because they are gentler to your consciousness than many other sensations. Therefore, they are likely to enter dreams rather than causing awakenings. Sound cues are useful to people who sleep deeply and therefore tend not to notice light cues.

To benefit from the NovaDreamer's lucidity cues, you will first need to set your mind to notice lights around you, and to question whether you are awake or dreaming when you see them. This training is very important, because the cues can appear in an amazing variety of forms inside the dream. You will likely only see a few of the cues the NovaDreamer gives you. Some cues may awaken you, which will provide an opportunity to re-enter the dream state with lucidity directly from the waking state. Other cues may pass by without you noticing them at all. Your ideal cue will enter your dreams several times in a night, while not disturbing your sleep with too many awakenings.

2. The Reality Testing Button

An essential part of the process of becoming lucid in a dream is testing the world you are in to see if it is the waking world or a dream world. The button on the front of the NovaDreamer makes this testing easy. Mechanical devices in dreams hardly ever work the way the real devices would in the waking world. It seems to be especially difficult to duplicate the effect of a light switch in a dreamthe brain is apparently not well equipped to create the sensation of a light suddenly turning on and off on demand.

Pressing the button on the NovaDreamer results in a brief flash of light and a chirp--if you are awake! In a dream, however, the button on your dream NovaDreamer will not work the same way. Usually, in dream, there will be no light flash and sound chirp, although something else strange might happen. This is particularly helpful as a reality test, because when people sleep wearing the NovaDreamer, they often have dreams of waking up in bed still wearing it, or of walking around in public wearing it. The key is to remember to press the button on the NovaDreamer anytime you find yourself wearing it, and to observe whether or not the light and chirp occur as in waking. If they do not, then you are probably dreaming!

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Using the NovaDreamer with A Course in Lucid Dreaming

The NovaDreamer is a personal trainer that will help you accomplish the Lucidity Institute's complete training program for developing the skill of lucid dreaming. Lucid dreaming is a mental power, and to attain this power requires mental exercises. You cannot learn to have lucid dreams without a certain amount of mental effort, any more than you can develop physical strength without exercising your muscles. The NovaDreamer can assist you with the process, shortening the time needed for achieving lucid dreams, somewhat like a fitness machine increasing the speed with which you develop strength.

A Course in Lucid Dreaming provides the mental training needed for learning lucid dreaming. The NovaDreamer is best used as a learning aid in conjunction with the Course. The Course makes use of lucid dream induction devices (the NovaDreamer, DreamLink or DreamLight) throughout its learning plan (although it can be completed without any devices).

The Course consists of five units, progressing from the development of dream recall (the most important prerequisite for lucid dreaming), through lucid dream induction techniques such as Reality Testing, the Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreaming, and entering the dream state consciously from waking, ending with techniques for enhancing your control over the experience of lucid dreaming. The entire Course takes four or more months to complete, depending on the time you have available to focus on the exercises. At the end of the Course, you will be well on your way to mastering the extraordinarily powerful magic of lucid dreaming.

You can use your new skill to have unparalleled adventures, solve problems, overcome fears and limitations, tap into your creative potential, enhance your confidence, and perhaps experience spiritual awakening. You will read of some of the astonishing achievements available through lucid dreams in Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge and Howard Rheingold, which is the textbook of the Course, and you can add to the list with your own experiences.

NovaManFig1-3.gif (38k)

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Getting Started

Examine the NovaDreamer

Look at your NovaDreamer. It consists of a fabric mask with a pocket containing the electronic apparatus. The NovaDreamer is powered by two 1.5 Volt (AAA size) batteries (4). It has two controls: a ten position dial (2) located at the top edge of the mask, and a button (3) beneath the circular logo on the outside of the mask. Inside each eye hole there is a light-emitting diode (LED) that sits in front of each eye when the mask is being worn. See Figures 1-3. In the eye hole for the right eye are the sensors that detect your rapid eye movements when you are in REM sleep.

Try It On

Adjust the NovaDreamer strap to fit you. Pull apart the ends of the strap, which are attached with Velcro. Place the foam in the center of your face, so that the LEDs are in front of your eyes. Bring the ends of the straps around the back of your head, pulling until the mask sits snugly, without slipping, but so that it is not uncomfortably tight. Then press the Velcro strips together so that they fasten securely. The strap will probably be most comfortable if it lies across the very tops of your ears, but since people's heads vary, experiment to find the way it is most comfortable for you.

Learn the Controls

Read the descriptions below of the many programmable features of the NovaDreamer. Each number on the dial (2 in Fig. 3) selects one of the modes described. Then, follow the tutorial for practice in setting the NovaDreamer's controls.

The Sleeping Modes (1: Adjustable, 2: Light, 3: Medium, and 4: Deep)

You can choose from four modes to use when sleeping with the NovaDreamer. Three are preset with cues designed for light, medium, and deep sleepers, so that you can get started quickly with the NovaDreamer, without concerning yourself at first with the cue settings. As you gain experience with the NovaDreamer, you may choose to use the Adjustable sleep mode, for which you can specify your own selection of cue type, rate, number, and brightness. The cue settings for each mode are:

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The Cue Adjustment Modes (5: Number, 6: Intensity, 7: Rate, 8: Cue Type)

When you use the NovaDreamer in Adjustable Sleep Mode, you can specify the type of cue that you want to receive when you are dreaming. Your goal is to select a cue that will readily enter your dreams and remind you that you are dreaming without awakening you frequently. The NovaDreamer offers a wide range of cue settings, allowing you to create a cue ideally suited to your needs. You can independently control the number of flashes or beeps per cue, the brightness of the flashes or the loudness of the beeps (intensity), how fast the cue flashes or beeps, and the type of cue (light, sound, both eyes at once, alternating eyes). The Cue Adjustment Modes and their functions are:

The Personal Eye Movement Adjustment Mode (9)

The NovaDreamer decides when you are in REM sleep and likely to be dreaming based on its detection of the movements of your eyes under your closed eyelids when you are asleep. Bursts of rapid eye movements occur occasionally during REM sleep. Scientific research has shown that people are most likely to become lucid in a dream during periods of high eye movement activity, perhaps because the brain is also highly active during these periods.

The NovaDreamer responds differently to each person's eye movements and its responsiveness varies with the condition of its batteries. The number of cues the NovaDreamer gives you during your sleep depends on its sensitivity setting. To get the most out of your NovaDreamer it is important for you to set its sensitivity to your eye movements when you first begin to use it and to check on it periodically as the batteries are drained.

Mode 9 on the dial is for setting the sensitivity of the NovaDreamer. In this mode you can review the number of cues you received the last time that you used the device and you can select from 6 levels of sensitivity to eye movements. If the NovaDreamer is not giving you as many cues as you need in order to see or hear cues in your dreams, you need to increase its sensitivity. If you are getting too many cues, so that they are awakening you more often than you like, then you need to turn down the sensitivity. Instructions for adjusting the NovaDreamer to sense your eye movements are located on page 19.

The Delay

As you have read, the NovaDreamer decides when to give you cues to remind you that you are dreaming based on the movements of your eyes. The greatest number of eye movements in sleep occur in REM sleep, when dreaming occurs. However, your eyes will also move around when you are lying awake in bed, and in the transition period between waking and sleep. To enable you to fall asleep without being disturbed by cues triggered by the eye movements that normally occur during sleep onset, the NovaDreamer is equipped with a "delay" feature. Starting a delay prevents the NovaDreamer from giving cues for a period of time, so that you can fall asleep without interuption.

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The delay is controlled with the button on the front of the mask (3 on Fig. 1). When the NovaDreamer is in a Sleeping Mode (dial number 1, 2, 3, or 4), a press of the button will start a ten-minute countdown delay. This means that the NovaDreamer will not give cues for ten minutes, even if it detects a sufficient amount of eye movement. Each press of the button adds ten minutes to the time in the delay. For example, five presses in a row will start a 50-minute delay period. When you go to bed, a 60- to 80-minute delay is reasonable, because your first REM period is likely to occur about 90 minutes after you go to sleep. As a night of sleep proceeds, REM periods happen closer together, so that following awakenings in the second half of the night you will want to use shorter delays, of 20 or 30 minutes.

Because you use the same button to operate the delay and to perform Reality Tests, it is important to keep in mind when you are doing Reality Tests that each button press adds ten minutes to the delay. If you set a delay that is longer than you want, or if you are unsure of what delay you have set, you can clear the delay back to zero by pressing the button and holding it down for one second (until the test cue is given, see page 17).

The DreamAlarm

The NovaDreamer provides the DreamAlarm feature to help you develop your dream recall, which is essential for success with lucid dreaming. People are most likely to recall the details of a dream if they are awakened from it. If you choose, the DreamAlarm will awaken you from your dreams, so that you can recall them clearly. (To set the DreamAlarm, refer to page 9, step 12.)

The Dream Alarm is a 42-second alarm that flashes brightly and beeps loudly to awaken you. When enabled, the Dream Alarm is activated five minutes after each cue it gives. Thus, when the DreamAlarm awakens you, you will know that five minutes ago, you received a cue from the NovaDreamer. Then, you can remember what you were just dreaming and see if you can recall seeing any incorporation of a lucidity cue in it. If you remember dreaming but not seeing a cue, this is an indication that you need a more noticeable cue (see page 11 for instructions in selecting your cue settings).

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Tutorial: Using the NovaDreamer Controls

1. View the foam-side of the NovaDreamer, so you can see the LEDs.

2. Find the dial. It is on the top edge of the mask, to the right of the center. The dial is used to select among the various modes for sleeping with and adjusting the NovaDreamer. The number that shows in the little window on the dial indicates the mode that is currently selected. It should now be set to mode 0, which is the OFF position. If it is not, turn the dial until the number 0 shows in the window. When you are not using the NovaDreamer, leave the dial set to 0 for longer battery life.

3. Mode 1 is the Adjustable Sleep Mode. This mode will monitor for REM sleep and give you the cues that you select in the Cue Adjustment Modes (dial numbers 5-8). Turn the dial to mode 1 (so the number 1 shows in the window. The NovaDreamer will demonstrate the current setting of the cue. Press the button briefly. You will see a quick flash from the LEDs and hear a chirp from the speaker. This is the Reality Test. If you were dreaming and pressed your dream version of this button, it probably would not work normally. The brief button press also starts a ten minute delay. Now press the button again, and hold it down for one second (say, "one thousand one"). The NovaDreamer first will give the Reality Test flash and beep; then after one second it will show you the test cue, which is a demonstration of what the cue you will receive when you are dreaming will be like (and the same as the cue it shows when you first enter the mode). The Adjustable Sleep Mode comes preset with Cue Type 2 (alternating left right flashes), 2 pairs of flashes per second, for 6 seconds, at intensity level 4. You can change all of these settings to suit your needs. The one-second button press also clears the delay back to zero. Note that the adjustable cue will revert to the preset if you change or remove your batteries.

4. Turn to dial to mode 2, the Light Sleep Mode. The NovaDreamer will demonstrate the preset Light Sleep cue. Again, press the button and hold it for one second. It will give the Reality Test flash and beep and then the test cue, showing you the preset Light Sleep cue again. This is Cue Type 1 (simultaneous flashes in both eyes), 2 flashes per second, for 2 seconds, at intensity 2. The Light Sleep Mode is permanently set to give this cue, which is designed for use by people who are easily awakened by events around them when they sleep. (See page 10 for help deciding what kind of sleeper you are.)

5. Turn the dial to mode 3, the Medium Sleep Mode. You will see a demonstration of the preset Medium Sleep cue. Press the button for one second to see this cue again. It is Cue Type 1, 2 flashes per second, for 6 seconds, at intensity 4. The Medium Sleep Mode is permanently set to give this cue, designed for use by people who are neither Light or Deep sleepers.

6. Turn the dial to mode 4, the Deep Sleep Mode. The NovaDreamer will demonstrate the preset Deep Sleep cue. Press the button for one second to play the cue again. It is Cue Type 4, 2 flashes per second with accompanying sound, for 10 seconds, at intensity 5. The Deep Sleep Mode is permanently set to give this cue, designed for use by people who are difficult to awaken and would not perceive a less noticeable cue in dreams.

7. Turn the dial to mode 5, the Number Adjustment Mode. In this mode, you can set the number of times the cue flashes or beeps each time the NovaDreamer turns it on in the Adjustable Sleep Mode. You can set a number from 1 to 255 flashes or beeps. To set it, you hold down the button until the number of desired flashes or beeps have passed. Press the button now and hold it down until you have counted 8 pairs of left-right flashes. You have now set the Adjustable Mode cue to 8 pairs of left-right flashes.

8. Turn the dial to mode 6, the Intensity Adjustment Mode. In this mode, you can select the intensity of the cue you will receive when using the Adjustable Sleep Mode. There are six intensity levels, which you select by pressing the button to step through the levels until you reach the one you want. Press the button briefly. You will see a sample of the current Cue Type (Type 2, alternating left and right flashes), flashing once (one pair of left-right flashes) at the current intensity setting. Press the button five more times and you will see samples of all of the intensity levels, from very dim to very bright. Press the button a few more times and the NovaDreamer will cycle through the intensity levels again. Each time you press the button you move the intensity up one level. Press the button now until it shows the fourth level of intensity (2 levels short of the brightest). You have now set the Adjustable Mode cue to flash at intensity level 4. Note that if you were using a Cue Type with sound, changing the setting of the Intensity Adjustment Mode will change the loudness of the sound as well as the brightness of the light (if any).

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9. Turn the dial to mode 7, the Rate Adjustment Mode. This mode allows you to set how fast the lights flash or the sound beeps in Adjustable Mode. There are 6 rates available: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 flashes or beeps per second. Note that when you use a faster rate, the cue will be shorter, because it takes less time to flash or beep the number of times set in the Number Adjustment Mode. Press the button now, and the NovaDreamer will show you the current setting of the cue rate. It will show you the actual duration of the cue. Press the button five more times, and you will see all of the possible rate settings. Leave it set to the third rate (3 per second).

10. Turn the dial to mode 8, the Cue Type Mode. Here you can select among the five different cue types, or choose to have no cues, for use in the Adjustable Sleep Mode. Press the button and the NovaDreamer will show you the current type setting: Type 2 (alternating flashes in left and right eyes, no sound) Press the button and the NovaDreamer will change to Type 3, which is beep only, with no light flashes. Press the button again and the NovaDreamer will flash in both eyes at the same time and beep (Type 4). The next button press will give a left-right alternating flash combined with a beep (Type 5). Press the button again, and the NovaDreamer will neither flash nor beep. This is the "cues off" setting (Type 0). Press the button one more time and you will see a flash in both eyes simultaneously, with no sound (Type 1). Leave the NovaDreamer in this setting.

11. Now turn the dial back to mode 1 (Adjustable Sleep Mode). You can turn the dial either way. Right after you enter this mode, you will see a sample of the cue you have just set in the Cue Adjustment Modes. To see this test cue again, hold the button down for one second. You should see 8 flashes, at the same time in both eyes, at intensity level 4, 3 flashes per second, with no sound. If that is not what you see, go through the steps in the Tutorial to this point again, until you have it right.

12. To turn on the DreamAlarm, you hold down the Reality Testing Button for 5 seconds in any of the four Sleep Modes. This will also demonstrate the DreamAlarm. Press the button now and hold it down for 5 seconds. You will hear loud beeps and see bright flashes, 5 per second. It will continue for 42 seconds or until you press the button briefly to interrupt it. You have now activated the DreamAlarm, and the NovaDreamer will turn it on five minutes after each cue it gives. To deactivate the DreamAlarm, hold down the button for one second (until the test cue is shown). Turning the dial also deactivates the DreamAlarm.

13. Now turn the dial to mode 9 (the Personal Eye Movement Adjustment Mode). This is the mode you will use to set the NovaDreamer to detect your eye movements accurately, and to see the number of cues the NovaDreamer gave you the last time that you used it. There are ten levels of sensitivity, set by pressing the button. The NovaDreamer indicates which level of sensitivity is set by flashing the number of times that corresponds to the currently set level. Press the button now and the lights will flash three times, indicating that the NovaDreamer is set at sensitivity level 3 (some Nova's come with default sensitivity set to 3 and some 5). Press the button again, and you will see 4 flashes for sensitivity level 4. Continue to press the button until you have seen all ten sensitivity levels and returned to level 5 (five flashes). Further instructions on using the Personal Eye Movement Adjustment Mode are on page 19 under "Sensitivity Level."

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Sleeping with the NovaDreamer

This section will guide you through using your NovaDreamer at night to stimulate lucid dreams. For the first few nights, you will be experimenting to find out the right sensitivity and cue settings for you. At the same time, you should begin preparing your mind to recognize NovaDreamer cues and performing Reality Tests, so that you get the message when the NovaDreamer cues you to become lucid.

How to Start Sleeping with the NovaDreamer

(Read all the steps before beginning.)

1. Set the sensitivity. Make sure that the Sensitivity Level is set to 5. Go to mode 9, press the button once briefly, and count the number of flashes. If you get five flashes, it is set to Sensitivity Level 5. If you get something other than five flashes, press the button until it gives 5 flashes.

2. Pick a sleep mode. Read the descriptions below, and decide which applies best to you.

If you are think you are a:

3. Enter a Sleep Mode. Turn your NovaDreamer to the mode you chose in Step 2. Note the cue it shows you immediately after you turn the dial to the mode number. This is the cue you will receive when you are dreaming, to remind you to notice that you are dreaming.

4. Get comfortable. Lie down wearing the NovaDreamer and find a comfortable sleeping position. You can sleep in any position wearing the NovaDreamer except with your nose down into the bed or pillow.

5. Give yourself a test cue. Press the button and hold in down until the cue is triggered. Tell yourself this is your cue to become lucid. Now press the button briefly and observe the Reality Test flash and beep. Remind yourself to press the button every time you find yourself awake wearing the NovaDreamer, and to note whether the flash and beep occur as expected. If not, you may be dreaming!

6. Start a delay. To delay further cueing until you are asleep, press the button 7 more times. These seven button presses plus the one you made before to perform a Reality Test will set a total of 80 minutes in the delay. Now the NovaDreamer will not give cues until at least 80 minutes have passed and it detects eye movement activity. Your first REM period is likely to happen about 90 minutes after you fall asleep.

7. Throughout the night, remember your mission. When you next wake up, for whatever reason (light cue or noise or spontaneously, etc.), press the button briefly to perform a Reality Test.

If the NovaDreamer does not flash and beep... remove the mask and do a complete Reality Test (as described in A Course in Lucid Dreaming), because you are probably dreaming!

If the NovaDreamer flashes and beeps as expected... ask yourself if you remember any dreams. If so, do you remember noticing anything in them that might have been the NovaDreamer cue? When you are ready to return to sleep, start another delay. If it is still the first half of your night of sleep, set a 40 minute delay (4 button presses). If it is the second half of the night, set a 20-minute delay (2 presses).

8. When you are done sleeping, review the night. When you are ready to get up, turn the NovaDreamer off (to 0 on the dial). Think about your dreams from the night. How many did you recall? Did you notice any NovaDreamer cues in them? Did the NovaDreamer cue awaken you? If so, how many times, and did you find that it disturbed your sleep more than you would like?

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9. Find out how many cues you received last night. While looking at the lights in the mask, turn the dial to mode 9. Count the number of flashes on the left side, then the number of flashes on the right side. The number of left flashes indicates tens of cues; the number of flashes on the right indicates ones. For example, 5 left flashes and 3 right flashes indicates 53 cues. No left flashes and 9 right flashes would mean 9 cues. This number refers to the number of cues that the NovaDreamer gave during the last period it was in a Sleep Mode, from five minutes after the time the dial was turned to that mode, to the time the dial was turned out of that mode.

10. Evaluate the sensitivity setting. You want the NovaDreamer to give you as many cues as possible while you are dreaming without unduly disturbing your sleep. Useful numbers of cues are usually from 10­20 per night. Deeper sleepers may need more cues than lighter sleepers. If the number of cues you received last night was within this range (if you had a regular night's sleep), leave the sensitivity setting at its current setting. If the number of cues you received last night was much less than 10, you will probably want to increase the sensitivity. To do so first turn the dial to mode 9. Press the button to show the current sensitivity setting (it should be level one, indicated by one flash). Press the button again to change the setting to level two (shown by two flashes).

11. Evaluate your cue settings. After one night sleeping with the NovaDreamer, evaluate your cue settings as follows: (a) Did the cue awaken you more than you are comfortable with? Awakenings can help with lucid dreaming by providing opportunities for Reality Tests, WILDs (see p. 16), and MILD. But, if your sleep is disturbed enough to be a problem for you, try a different sleep mode next time, either Light if you were using Medium Sleep, or Medium if you were using Deep Sleep. Also, you can choose to create your own cue settings to use in the Adjustable Sleep Mode. (b) Did you sleep through the night without seeing any cues, or only see them when you were already awake? If so, try another sleep mode, either Medium if you were using Light Sleep or Deep if you were using Medium Sleep. Also, you can choose to create your own cue settings to use in the Adjustable Sleep Mode. (c) Did you see cues in dreams? Excellent! (You should only expect to see about 10­20% of the cues even if your dream recall is good.)

12. On subsequent nights, reevaluate and refine your settings. Continue to adjust the sensitivity and cue settings after each night that you use the NovaDreamer until you are aware of cues during the night, in dreams and in occasional awakenings. After a few nights, you may have an idea of a customized cue you would like to try, and you will want to use the Cue Adjustment Modes to create your personal cue to use in the Adjustable Sleep Mode. Periodic adjustments may be necessary as your sleep changes with your life activities and you become accustomed to the NovaDreamer. In addition, as your batteries are used up, the sensitivity of the NovaDreamer may decrease, and you should increase the sensitivity level to continue receiving a useful number of cues. For this reason, it is a good idea to check the number of cues you received after each night you use the NovaDreamer.

13. Take occasional breaks from using your NovaDreamer. If after uninterrupted use for an extended number of nights, you find yourself sleeping more deeply and not seeing the NovaDreamer's cues, take a few nights off.

Napping with the NovaDreamer

You can use the NovaDreamer to help you achieve lucid dreams in naps, too. Follow the same procedures as for nights, except use a shorter delay time at the start of the nap than at the start of a night. You are likely to have a REM period within an hour of falling asleep in a nap, so a 30- or 40-minute delay is best. To be sure of having REM sleep in a nap, plan to sleep for at least 90 minutes. See A Course in Lucid Dreaming (Unit 4, pp. 4-3 to 4-5) for more instructions in using naps to induce lucid dreams.

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Using Your Mind

Knowing how to operate your mind for lucid dreaming is as essential as understanding the NovaDreamer's functions. The Course in Lucid Dreaming will provide most of the training in this department, and the following exercises are for the special needs of NovaDreamer users. The Catalog of Lights and Buttons shows you what some of the experiences of seeing the cue in dreams and pressing the Reality Test button have been like for others. The Looking for the Light exercise (p. 15) will help to establish your consciousness of lights in your environment. Read the Catalog of Lights and Buttons now, then begin the Looking for the Light exercise.

Catalog of Lights and Buttons

The types of incorporation of the NovaDreamer lights in dreams fall into three categories. The first is the light cue appearing in your dream, either in a disguised form or simply as a flashing light like you see when awake. The second type come from Reality Tests with the button. The third category is appearances of the NovaDreamer device itself in the dream scene or in the topic of the dream. This is a very important type of incorporation that many people have used to become lucid. Simply noticing that you are walking around wearing a NovaDreamer should be quite enough to tell you that you are dreaming!

As you read about the experiences others have had with the NovaDreamer (some of these are from the DreamLight, but the principle is the same), imagine that it is you seeing the cue, or the device, in your dream. In cases where the dreamer has erred in interpreting the meaning of the cue, vow to yourself that you will not make the same mistake. Imagine seeing the cues for yourself, and saying, "That is the NovaDreamer, and I am dreaming."

Important Note: Although the NovaDreamer LEDs are red, do not expect that the lights must look red in dreams. They very often appear white, or even some other color.


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Incorporation of light cues: undisguised


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Presence of Lucid Dream Induction Device

A note about frightening or unpleasant incorporations of cues

As you read this catalog, you saw that the light cues weave themselves quite neatly into the fabric of dreams. Our minds try to make the lights into something normal from the waking world. The flashing lights do not always show up as something pleasant. In our waking lives, we see flashing lights frequently in the form of alarms, police car signals, fires and explosions. When these are the nearest explanation your dreaming mind can find for the lights, then this is how the NovaDreamer cue may appear. We have even had reports of people seeing the light in their dream as "the light of a thousand suns"a nuclear explosion.

This is not bad. The NovaDreamer cue cannot hurt you, no matter what form it takes in the dream. And, appearances of the cue as "bad" lights give us the opportunity to practice objectively evaluating the signals we respond to in life, to ask ourselves, "Is it really dangerous? What does this really mean, and how can it help me?" In the case of the NovaDreamer cue, it is there to tell you that you are dreaming and that you have the power to influence the course of your dream experience in a positive, constructive direction.

[Page 15]

Exercise: Looking for the Light

1. Begin a list of lights.

Make a list titled, "Lights in the Waking World." Now, look around you and notice each source of light in your immediate environment, room, or wherever. List them on your sheet of paper. Examples could be: the desk lamp, the computer screen, the reflection of a lamp in the mirror, the glint of sun in your eye. Don't neglect reflections, electronic devices, or even very bright colorsthe NovaDreamer's cues have appeared as each of these things in someone's dream.

2. Collect many examples of lights.

Carry your list of lights with you during the day. When you see a source of light that is not yet on your list, add it. For example, you will see different kinds of lamps, traffic lights, fires, headlights, etc. If any kind of light strikes you as being unusual (a light bulb burns out, the light in a store seems too bright, someone drives past you on the road with their brights on, etc.) make a note of it.

3. Use lights as cues to do Reality Tests.

Each time you notice a new source of light, do a Reality Test. Visualize yourself realizing that you are dreaming, becoming lucid, and doing something you can only do in a lucid dream (flying, for example).

4.Make a habit of noticing lights everywhere.

Continue to keep your written list of light sources until you have established a habit of observing the lighting in your environment and doing Reality Tests.

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Three Ways of Having Lucid Dreams with the NovaDreamer

1. On Cue: Recognizing the NovaDreamer's Cues in Dreams

In a cued NovaDreamer lucid dream, the dreamer sees an unusual light in the dream scene (for example, the lights of the room start to blink), and realizes, "That's the NovaDreamer cue--I must be dreaming!" Once you have seen and recognized the NovaDreamer's cue, you know you are in a dream, and are therefore lucid dreaming. It's up to you what to do next.

It is important to keep in mind, however, that the NovaDreamer cue can appear in your dreams in as many different forms as there are different dreams. This is not to say that the cue will never look the same twiceit probably willbut rather to encourage you to establish a habit of scrutinizing the lights in your environment, asking if they might be the NovaDreamer. You began this practice with the Looking for the Light exercise (p. 15).

A common obstacle for beginning lucid dreamers, with or without the NovaDreamer, is awakening too soon, before the lucid dream has a chance to develop into something really interesting. This problem can be associated with NovaDreamer lucid dreams, because the cue that stimulates you sufficiently to rouse you from your fuzzy-minded dream state to lucidity may bring you near to awakening. Fortunately, there are ways of delaying awakening from lucid dreams. One of the best seems to be spinning, which is discussed in Unit 5 of the Course in Lucid Dreaming.

2. Waking Up in Another World: Using False Awakenings as Doors to Lucidity

Because the NovaDreamer can occasionally awaken you from dreams, it offers an opportunity for entering lucid dreams through false awakenings. A false awakening is a dream in which you dream that you have just awakened! After the NovaDreamer has awakened you a few times, you may develop the expectation that when the cue turns on, you will wake up. Thus, in a little while, the cue may turn on, and you think it's awakened you, but you are actually still dreaming! Then, weird things will start to happen in your (dream) bedroom, and you will need to keep your critical mind about you so that you can realize you are still dreaming.

You can turn NovaDreamer-induced false awakenings into lucid dreams by diligently performing Reality Tests every time you think it has awakened you. Use the Reality Test button, and watch and listen carefully to the flash and click to make sure that they behave as they do when you are awake (see p. 17 for more about the Reality Test button).

If you take the mask off during an awakening, closely examine your bedroom, and read a digital clock, or some text, while trying to get the letters or numbers to change (see Unit 1 of the Course in Lucid Dreaming for the Reality Testing procedures). If something is not right, you are probably dreaming.

3. Taking Lucidity With You: Falling Asleep Consciously

Entry into the dream directly from the waking state is one of the oldest known methods for achieving lucidity. Tibetan Buddhists have been practicing techniques for crossing the boundary into dreams while maintaining waking consciousness for at least a thousand years. The NovaDreamer can assist you in having "wake-induced lucid dreams" (WILDs).

The NovaDreamer occasionally causes awakenings from the dream state. When you wake up out of the middle of a dream, your brain is in a condition in which it is likely to want to reenter the REM state quickly. Thus, if the NovaDreamer wakes you up, and you fall asleep again shortly thereafter, you may be able to directly enter into a dream while holding onto your desire to be lucid. Unit 4 of the Course in Lucid Dreaming provides training in techniques for entering dreams directly from the waking state.

[Page 17]

NovaDreamer Functions

Following is a description of the operations and the uses of the controls of the NovaDreamer, listed by mode number. The mode numbers refer to the numbers on the NovaDreamer dial. Read this section carefully to understand how the NovaDreamer is working during the night and when you adjust it.

Mode 0: Off

Keep the NovaDreamer in this mode when it is not in use, to reduce the rate of battery discharge. Some battery power will be used in this mode to maintain the adjustable settings. This power loss is reduced if the NovaDreamer is kept in the dark.

Modes 1, 2, 3, 4: Sleep Modes

When in one of these modes, the NovaDreamer monitors eye movement activity and gives cues to remind the sleeper to become lucid. The nature of the cue depends on which sleep mode is used and, for the Adjustable Sleep Mode, on the Adjustable Cue Settings (Modes 5, 6, 7 and 8). (See page 5 for the preset cue settings of the Sleep Modes.) The Sleep Modes also include Reality Testing, a delay, test cues, a refractory period, and a DreamAlarm. While in a Sleep Mode, the NovaDreamer keeps track of the number of cues it has delivered, beginning 5 minutes after entry into the Sleep Mode. The functions of the Sleep Modes work as follows:

[Page 18]

Modes 5, 6, 7, 8: Cue Adjustment Modes

The Cue Adjustment Modes allow the user to create a customized cue to be given by the NovaDreamer in the Adjustable Sleep Mode (Mode 1). The cue settings for the preset Sleep Modes (2: Light Sleep; 3: Medium Sleep; 4: Deep Sleep) are unaffected by the settings of the Cue Adjustment Modes. The adjustable cue parameters are: the number of flashes or beeps per cue (Number), the brightness of the flashes and/or loudness of the beeps (Intensity), the rate of flashing and/or beeping (Rate), and the type of cue (Type). The functions of the Cue Adjustment Modes work as follows:

Mode 5 (Cue Number Adjustment)

This mode is for setting the number of times the cue flashes or beeps in Adjustable Sleep Mode each time the NovaDreamer triggers in response to eye movements. The range of possible numbers is from 1 to 255 flashes or beeps. Set the number by holding down the button in mode 5 until the desired number of flashes or beeps has passed. Note that if the Cue Type (Mode 8) is set to alternating left-right flashes (Type 2 and Type 6), one flash will become one pair of left-right flashes. If you turn the dial to Mode 5 and do not press the button before turning the dial to another mode, the number setting will be unchanged. To see the current setting, put the NovaDreamer in the Adjustable Sleep Mode (Mode 1) and it will show the current cue. To see it again, hold the button down for one second to start the test cue.

Mode 6 (Cue Intensity Adjustment)

This mode sets the brightness of the flashes and/or the loudness of the beeps of the cue in Adjustable Sleep Mode. If the Cue Type has light only, this mode changes the flashing brightness. If the Cue Type has sound only, this mode changes the loudness. If the Cue Type has both light and sound, both brightness and loudness will be changed simultaneously. There are 6 levels of intensity. Set the intensity by pressing the button until the NovaDreamer demonstrates the level desired. The first button press shows the current setting. Subsequent button presses raise the intensity by one step for each press. Pressing the button after the highest intensity level cycles back to the lowest level. The intensity is shown in this mode with a single flash or beep, or both flash and beep. To see an example of the complete cue setting, put the NovaDreamer in the Adjustable Sleep Mode (Mode 1) and it will show the current cue. To see it again, hold the button down for one second to start the test cue.

Mode 7 (Cue Rate Adjustment)

This mode is for selecting the speed of the flashes and/or beeps of the cue in Adjustable Sleep mode. The available rates are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 flashes or beeps per second. At each rate, the NovaDreamer will give the number of flashes or beeps set in the Number Adjustment Mode (Mode 6). A faster rate with the same number of flashes or beeps results in a shorter time that the cue is on. For example, a cue of 8 flashes at 2 per second lasts for 4 seconds, but at 4 per second lasts only 2 seconds. To set the rate, press the button until you see the desired rate. The NovaDreamer will show the currently set rate and the number of cues set in the Number Adjustment Mode at the current brightness setting. To change the rate, press the button again. Each button presses increases the rate by one per second. Pressing the button after the fastest rate (6 per second) cycles back to the lowest rate (1 per second).

[Page 19]

Mode 8 (Cue Type Adjustment)

This mode is for choosing among the six types of cues offered by the NovaDreamer for reminding you to become lucid in the Adjustable Sleep Mode. The cue types are described on page 6. To see the current cue type, press the button once. The NovaDreamer will show a short sample of the type. Press the button again to change the type. Note that in the case of the types with alternating left-right flashes (Type 2 and Type 6), the number setting (from Mode 5) will refer to the number of pairs of left-right flashes, rather than the total number of flashes. To see an example of the complete cue setting, put the NovaDreamer in the Adjustable Sleep Mode (Mode 1) and it will show the current cue. To see it again, hold the button down for one second to start the test cue.

Mode 9: The Sensitivity Adjustment Mode

To ensure that the NovaDreamer is accurately sensing your eye movements and giving you cues in REM sleep, this mode gives feedback on the number of cues delivered and permits changing of the sensitivity.

Cue Count. When the dial is turned to 9, the NovaDreamer will indicate the number of cues it gave during the last period it was in a Sleep Mode (from five minutes after the time that the dial was turned to a Sleep Mode to the time that the dial was turned "off" [Mode 0]). The cue number is shown with a series of flashes and beeps. First it will flash relatively long flashes in the left eyehole, then it will give a set of relatively short flashes in the right eyehole. The number of longer flashes from the LED in the left eyehole indicates the tens of cues, and the number of shorter flashes in the right eyehole indicate the ones. For example, 1 flash on the left side followed by 9 flashes on the right side indicates 19 cues (10 + 9). Six flashes on the left followed by 1 flash on the right indicates 61 cues (6 x 10 + 1). No flashes on the left means that less than 10 cues were given. No flashes on the right combined with some flashes on the left means that there was an even multiple of ten cues (such as 10, 20, 100). No flashes on either side means no cues were given.

The NovaDreamer begins to count the number of cues given in a Sleep Mode after it has been in a Sleep Mode for 5 minutes. At that time, it resets the count to zero. The number of cues given during the last period in a Sleep Mode is preserved and available for review in Mode 9 until the next time the NovaDreamer is put in a Sleep Mode after having been turned off (Mode 0), or until the batteries are removed. To ensure a correct cue count for your sleep periods, always turn the NovaDreamer dial to "0" when you are done sleeping.

Sensitivity level. Based on the number of cues the NovaDreamer gives, it may be desirable to change the sensitivity setting. This refers to the amount of eye movement the NovaDreamer needs to detect before deciding that the user is in REM sleep. Useful numbers of cues are usually from 10 to 20 for a night's sleep of 6 hours or more. The sensitivity is set by pressing the button when in Mode 9. The button press will cause the lights to flash a number of times indicating the sensitivity level selected (one flash = sensitivity level 1; two flashes = level two, etc.). There are ten available levels. Higher level numbers correspond to higher sensitivities to eye movement. Therefore, at higher sensitivity levels the NovaDreamer will give more cues. Note that the sensitivity setting for the NovaDreamer affects all the sleep modes 1­4 and doesn't depend on what type of sleeper you are.

[Page 20]

Toward More Light!

You are not alone. Although few experiences are as private as dreams, that very privacy makes possible the unparalleled freedom available in the lucid dream state that has the potential to contribute to the transformation of human society. The word about lucid dreaming is spreading. Every day The Lucidity Institute receives letters and phone calls from people who have heard about lucid dreaming for the first time. Many of them have had a taste of the power of the lucid dream and speak in wildly enthusiastic tones of their desire to experience it again.

We at The Lucidity Institute believe that lucid dreaming can benefit anyone who can achieve it. Our purpose is to conduct and support research into ways of making lucid dreaming accessible to all and into ways of using lucid dreams to enhance our lives. The NovaDreamer is one product of our work in the first category, making use of developing technology to assist us on our paths to self-discovery. We also offer seminars and courses on methods of having and using lucid dreams.

For achieving the second part of The Lucidity Institute mission, we hope to enroll every one of you lucid dream explorers as our colleagues. The potentials of lucid dreaming for enriching life are just beginning to come to light. In this new frontier, any individual could make important discoveries valuable to others. We request that you share with us the joys and tribulations you experience during your explorations of the world of lucid dreaming. In turn, we will compile the reports we receive from this new world and relay them on to you for your enhanced enjoyment of your nightly travels.

Ideas of applications for lucid dreaming appear in the second half of Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming (LaBerge & Rheingold, 1990). Accounts of these uses of lucid dreaming came from oneironauts ("dream voyagers") around the world writing in to share their successes. There is much to be learned about these known applications, and surely as many yet undiscovered. New methods of lucid dream induction, too, undoubtedly await us.

The most important gift lucid dreaming offers may be its power for showing us the great treasure that lies within each of us. So many people labor under the belief that they have little control over their own lives and destiniesthat the world is not theirs to change. Our deepest motive for teaching people about lucid dreaming is to help whomever we can to realize that they create their own worlds and can experience fulfillment of their hearts' desires. Lucid dreaming can provide a way into that realm of possibility because it demonstrates with stunning clarity that true liberty, peace, joy, beauty and love live always inside each of us. We dream that if enough individuals discover the precious treasure within, not only will their hearts be enlightened thereby, but then also will humanity find its way to living in harmony and generosity.

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Appendix: Battery Life and Power Saving

The NovaDreamer operates with power from 2 AAA size batteries. You may use either regular alkaline batteries or Ray-O-Vac Renewal rechargeable alkaline batteries. Do not use Nickel-Cadmium rechargeable batteries, because their voltage is too low. As the batteries in the NovaDreamer lose charge, the NovaDreamer may become decreasingly sensitive to eye movement activity, which you will experience as a decrease in the number of cues you receive in a night. For this reason, it is a good idea to check the number of cues you received after each night of use (Mode 9), and if the number has dropped below your preferred number, increase the NovaDreamer's sensitivity level (Mode 9). When the battery charge drops too low, the NovaDreamer will cease to detect eye movements, although the tests cues and Reality Test flashes and beeps may still be operable. If you are receiving no cues from your NovaDreamer, replace or recharge your batteries. To avoid drops in sensitivity level and loss of eye movement detection and cueing, use rechargeable batteries and recharge them completely after about a week of use. Renewal rechargeable batteries are good for about 25 cycles of discharge and recharge. After that, they will not hold enough charge to last for a night of use and you will need to replace them.

Tips for Prolonging Battery Life

Changing the Batteries

It is best to remove and replace the batteries without removing the printed circuit board from the cloth mask. Pull the side of the mask that is printed with "NovaDreamer" out from the board so that you can see how the batteries are placed. Press down on the top of each battery and ease it out of its holder. Insert new batteries by placing the flat end of each (the negative end) against the spring at the bottom of the battery holder, pressing the battery against the spring and slipping the top nubby end (the positive end) into the top of the holder.

If you need to remove the printed circuit board, do so with care, because the solder points are sharp and the electronics are delicate. Carefully detach the Velcro at the top of the board from the foam side of the mask and gently pull the board out of its sleeve. When replacing it be sure that the board is seated correctly, that the bottom ends do not protrude through the eyeholes and that the sensors and LEDs are not obstructed by the cloth.

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Last modified November 7, 2003