Keith Hearne invented a Dream Machine. Keith Hearne is a researcher in the field of lucid dreams, and dreams in general. He recorded the first verified ocular signal from a lucid dreamer during REM sleep. Hearne is the author of numerous articles on dreaming and hypnotherapy.
Keith Hearne, while researching his Dream Machine, understood some form of dream detector would be required, in addition to a way to communicate to dreaming people that they were dreaming. Much effort went into developing both aspects of the “dream-machine.”
Different methods of dream detection were investigated. The first technique was to monitor REMs but this electrode system proved to be unsatisfactory in opera-tion. Eventually, the method of using a nasal thermistor was chosen—providing an artifact-free method of monitoring the respiratory rate differences between SWS and REM sleep. In a sleep-lab study the technique was found to induce lucidity in half the twelve subjects, in just one night each (Hearne, 1982d).
All sorts of stimulation methods were tried, including sound stimuli, sprinkled water, pungent odours, etc. However, a method of electrical stimulation to the median nerve at the wrist was found to be effective.
Another function of Keith Hearne’s dream machine is its ability to wake (using an audible tone) the user from REM sleep, so increasing the amount of dream recall. That option might be useful for “dream interpretation” groups. Nightmare sufferers (Hearne, 1980c) and sleep-paralysis sufferers (Hearne, 1982e) could also use it to good effect. In connection with a TV programme here recently, the device induced lucidity in about one third of the users. One person entered the lucid state three times on one night.
Keith Hearne’s research
Hearne, K. M. T. (1981). Control your own dreams. New Scientist, 91(1272), 783–785.
Hearne, K. M. T. (1982). Effects of performing certain set tasks in the lucid dream state. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 54: 259–262.
Hearne, K. M. T. (1982c). Eye-movement communication from lucid dreams: A new technique and initial findings. Perceptual and Motor Skills.
Hearne, K. M. T. (1982d). Lucid dream induction. Journal of Mental Imagery (Fall).