Ari: Hi and welcome to the podcast. Today we’re talking with Steve McRiggins from Remee.
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
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
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
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
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.