Today I got to Interview Steve McGuigan from Remee. I hope you enjoy it!
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Ari: Hi and welcome to the podcast. Today we’re talking with Steve McRiggins from Remee. Hi.
Steve: Hey, how you doing? Thanks for having me.
Ari: Yeah. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me. First of all, telling everybody what Remee is.
Steve: Remee is a lucid training. Maybe not everybody is familiar with lucid training. It’s kind of the ability to recognize when you’re dreaming and through that recognition you can begin to control what is actually happening in the dream. Remee is a mask that we made kind of modeled on some previous masks. It gives you these recognizable and customizable light patterns that you can actually see through your eyelids while you’re dreaming. They did some research in the 80's that stand for, that kind of prove that this is possible that you can receive visual stimuli in your dreams using lights. It’s kind of based on an old 1:05 that was extremely overpriced and is no longer on the market anyways. We kind of took that concept and tried to bring it down in price and make it more available, more accessible to the average person.
Ari: How do you know when you’re dreaming?
Steve: It doesn’t do any sort of brain detection simply because our tests with that, the original version of the mask used this sort of infrared beam fired into your eyeball to try and guess when you’re in REM sleep. Our tests, with that same technology, found it was sort of firing when you’re moving you’re head or moving around even, whether or not you’re eyelids are moving or not. we kind of found that it was sort of a future that was not exactly as well developed as it’s made up to be on similar type products. We figured instead of including something like that, that maybe it wasn’t as effective as it was made out to be. We’d rather just concentrate on making the masks customizable on the sense that you can fix timers, mess with the brightness and patterns to make your pattern as customizable as possible. Try and get you when you’re in your longest REM fazes towards the end of the night.
Ari: So the concept is it flashes these lights and you’re supposed to recognize those light patterns while you’re dreaming and that’s how you know you’re dreaming, but how do you actually take control or start to do this?
Steve: That generally comes with practice. The first couple of times, any novice lucid dreamer will tell you, the first couple of times you actually have a lucid dream, you’re generally just going to get so excited that you wake up. As you learn to calm down and recognize that you’re dreaming without waking, you can slowly start to take more and more control of what's actually happening in the dream. People who have been lucid dreaming for years and years, there are reports of just having complete and total control over the entire environment. That’s creating entire scenes. Long, drawn out, extended lucid dreams where they have 100% control over the environment, over the characters, over all of that. Obviously that’s an advanced concept but it’s something to work towards.
Ari: Beyond the obvious question of is it just for fun? What is it? Are there any benefits to lucid dreaming?
Steve: well, sure. I think, it’s interesting for me, how ludic dreaming nears real life and that the only limit is your own motivation and your own aspirations. People can fly around. Sure, it’s fun and you can exhilarate. I’ve tried flying lucid dreaming myself but you can all see that really to tackle real world problems or even tap into creativity. There’s a lot of hearsay stories, the least, of people like, for example, Paul McCartney is famous for having written the melody for some of his more famous songs while in a dream. Mary Shelley get the main prop points came to her in a dream. There’s an argument that you can tap into, possible, creative sources in your brain that maybe you wouldn’t be able to get at in life. Maybe more applicable to the regular person, I’ve used lucid training to sort of overcome a fear of public speaking. Even the idea of being on a phone interview, a few years ago, would have been terrifying to me. As I trained myself as a lucid dreamer, I started bringing myself into situations where I was speaking in public, larger and larger crowds, to become more comfortable. I knew it wasn’t real but it helped me be . . . . . .
Ari: You said that you knew that it wasn’t real but it, what?
Steve: I said, you know that it wasn’t real but it helped me deal with some of the stresses that might accompany situations like that simply with practice. It’s sort of a dry run of a public speaking situation.
Ari: That’s really fascinating; that sort of touches on aspects of meditation where people have built their bodies or strengthened a muscle just by thinking about it. I guess just to have that kind of application as well.
Steve: Yeah, absolutely. I think the body, for people who are anxious, that the body has natural responses that the more and more you encounter situations like that you learn to deal with those responses. If you have a fear of public speaking and you’re only doing one or two speaking engagements every year or something like that, it’s very difficult to get over a fear like that when you’re not doing it. If you’re doing it three or four times a week in a dream, you’re learning to face that fear and anxiety that accompany that.
Ari: They obviously benefit because in my area everybody always wants to get more hours in a day. So, if you’re able to actually work on these kinds of things then maybe you can create muscle memory or work through complex problems that you looked up before you went to bed. You’re getting, potentially, those 8 extra hours a day – not really – but I guess it seems time goes a lot faster.
Steve: There’s conflicting reports on whether time goes faster or slower. I personally think it’s different for every dreamer and different for every dream. As far as muscle memory goes, and as well as attacking real world problems, I think lucid dreaming is good for some types of problems; interpersonal problems or maybe even problems that would require extremely outside of the box solutions. As far as logical or mathematical problems, I don’t necessarily think that lucid dreaming is a good application of that simply because it’s hard even in a very lucid dream; it’s hard to keep track of figures and anything that is extremely linear like that. It can be very hard to keep track of in a dream.
Ari: Are there, I guess there’s probably not enough studies of this kind of thing, but are there any risks? If you commit a crime and that affects you in a negative way could that have 8:22 impact?
Steve: That’s an interesting, more like a metaphorical quandary. I’ve never . . . do you mean like possible psychological damage?
Ari: Well, yeah. I guess it’s like a question of 8:42. If you have accidentally create some traumatic event that you’re not ready for but you did it in a dream but I guess that really depends on your resilience.
Steve: Yes and also I think that nightmares, I don’t know about you but I’ve had some pretty crazy ones like things if I experienced in real life would absolutely cause no-ending trauma. I think the only difference between that and a lucid dream is that you will know that it is not real so it’s probably less likely to cause psychological damage. In a regular dream where as far as you’re sleeping mind knows, is actually happening to you.
Ari: That’s really interesting. What caused you to create this? Was there like a personal interest or do you have a background in this kind of thing?
Steve: It’s funny. My partner Duncan and I, we’ve been friends since high school and we’ve moved up to New York City around the same time. We’ve been messing around with electronics and programing, that sort of thing for a couple of years, just trying to find . . . we’ve just been interested in bringing a product to market. Over a year ago it just happened to come up in conversation that lucid training is something that we’ve both been interested in since we were young and I had no idea even though we had known each other for long. It was sort of this riveted moment when we both realize that we both have this very strong interest in this aserteric subject. At the same time, it was something that where there weren’t a whole lot of consumer products available for other people like us. It was sort of the marriage of we have this interest and the market has this need and we have this desire and we have this know how to bring this product to market. We sort of made the product that we wanted because it didn’t exist.
Ari: Those are usually the best stories anyway. I'm interested in this myself. I'm the kind of person that has one dream a year that I remember. Will it work on me or will it not work?
Steve: I'm sorry; did you say that you don’t remember any of your dreams?
Ari: Like one a year I remember.
Steve: Wow, that’s terrible just because I enjoy dreaming so much. The idea of not being able to remember, I wouldn’t enjoy that. I think what people typically find is that they can increase their dream recall quite a bit simply by writing down as many details about the dream they do remember. When you say you only remember one dream a year, I don’t know what that means. Do you ever wake up early in the morning and feel a dream slipping away and then five minutes later you don’t remember any of it?
Ari: Yeah, that’s how it goes for me.
Steve: Well, there you go. That is the perfect time to just grab a pen and paper or a smart phone with a voice recording app and just start going full stream of consciousness remembering whatever small details you can. Even if it’s only one or two sentences at first, that’s step one in becoming a lucid dreamer or even step one in just recalling your dreams better to memory, the things that have actually happened to you in your dreams. They say and we agree that any journey towards lucid dreaming begins with improving dream recall. In the journey towards improving dream recall includes journaling your dreams or writing them down or committing them to the voice note or whatever.
Ari: One of the things that I always like to ask everybody on these interview is what are your top three personal productivity tips, obviously one of those could be listed as dreaming, what are the top three things that kind of keep you motivated and effective?
Steve: I actually found that, I'm a bit more of a creative type; keeping track of things haven’t always been my strongest point. Luckily now that we have smart phones, I found that apps like taskask. It gives you reminders and you can collaborate with partners and that sort of thing has been a great boon for both me and my partner, just in terms of to-do list getting sorted. In a sense, you can assign tasks to each other. You can set to-do lists for that day and sort of order them in the order of importance and bump the ones you didn’t get done today to the next day. You sort of just have this running tally of points that you need to address for the day. That has helped me a lot because I have a tendency to just take on as much as I can and sometimes without enough upkeep, I will just forget. So even something like a smart phone app or even SiRi on the iPhone with the apple reminders and things like that. It’s just nice to have a system hovering around you that helps you not just organize but prioritize what's going on.
Ari: Those are great. Those are perfectly diverse and useful tips so thank you for that. Thank you so much for telling us about Remee. Steve has been gracious enough to offer all of the listeners a discount and that code is lessdoing. What is the URL for them to try out that first step in lucid dreaming?
Steve: It’s www.SleepWithRemee.com. R-E-M-E-E dot com.
Ari: Great. Steve, thank you again and I hope to be controlling my dreams soon.
Steve: I hope you are too and I appreciate you having me on today.