DREEMWORK Lets You Code Morse From Inside Your Dream

EEG graph with activity sections highlighted, one part highlighted as "F" and other as "6"

Lucid dreaming fascinates hackers. Every few years for over a decade now, we’ve seen a serious project dedicated to studying or taking advantage of this phenomenon, and the interest in this topic hasn’t faded still. [Michael] has contacted us to tell about a small and unconventional breakthrough that a few lucid dream hackers have accomplished — communicating in Morse code from their dream using eye movements.

These hackers are using Dreem 2 and 3 headbands, which include clinical-grade polysomnography features like EEG measurements, which is instrumental for decoding eye movements. [Michael] tells us that one of the participants, [Sebastiii], was able to transfer the letter F by looking twice to the left, then right and left again – ..-. in Morse. With an off-the-shelf headband, this information transmission method is quite accessible to anyone willing to learn Morse, and [Michael] himself is now working on an automated decoding solution. We might forget what happens in our dreams fairly quickly, but this unexpected side channel could be a good counter.

[Michael] has tipped us off to many of the projects we’ve covered, and himself has quite a history in the field. His own research into using Morse to communicate out of lucid dreams dates back as far as 2012. If your ham exam preparations have you dream in Morse, perhaps this is the perfect project to join. A lot of projects we’ve seen focus on gaining enough awareness to achieve lucidity first, like the variety of lucid dream-invoking masks we’ve covered over the years. This part being thoroughly explored, it makes sense that communication is the next frontier to be tackled.

27 thoughts on “DREEMWORK Lets You Code Morse From Inside Your Dream

  1. To be honest, I’m not convinced that training yourself to interfere with your dreams is healthy. There is probably a reason why they try to take the path that they do. Mine tend to be almost universally surreal, and every time I’ve tried (for one reason or another) to break out of one I didn’t have a physically comfortable reaction.

    1. I wished I had this ability. When I was a baby/toddler I had a horrible nightmare. I think it was like this: I was followed by a slow moving T-Rex through a maze-like environment: Pastel colored walls in a void, but there was no ceiling. The location was like a big dark hall, in which walls of different height were positioned, not always properly. Some walls were lopsided. The place was like a huge movie set, maybe. The lighting was indirect, there was no sun or spotlight. As if the light was reflected among the walls themselves somehow. And it was silent. A bit like ‘3D monster maze’ for ZX81, except that I never had played any video games before at the time: I was maybe 3-4 years old, I guess. The problem was, that I also was kind of awake later on. When the day began, I was able to hear the sound of the street, saw the bright daylight from the window shining through my closed eyelids. My mind was awake, I knew what was happening and where I was. But I couldn’t move, or make any sound. I was kind of paralyzed, was forced to watch this ‘movie’ continuing to play before my inner/mental eye. All I could do was trying to concentrate on harmless objects, trying to ignore that ‘film’. Like if watching at the outer corners of a TV set if a movie plays. Gratefully, I eventually gained control over my young body. The finger tips were among the first I could move, I vaguely remember. I think it was the daylight that helped to calm myself down and to wake my body up. Because, that’s when the ‘movie’ became less and less real and frightening, until I finally could open my eyes.

  2. I ask this every time. I’ve never gotten an answer. How do you know you are actually lucid dreaming? I dream that I know spanish in my dreams, it does not mean that I know spanish. Even though the experience is real to me.

    1. There’s ton of literature on that.
      Short answer: reality checks. You do them regularly when awake in many different situations so you get absolutely used to them.

      After a while you’re so used to them you do them when dreaming, too.

      Do a search for Stephen La Berge and his literature…

        1. I guess the test then is if it exists, then you’re dreaming? Because the 9mm magnum cartridge (9x29mm) is pretty uncommon and, to my knowledge, there was never a revolver made to accept these rounds. Unless you’re playing russian roulette with a semiautomatic pistol….

    2. Perhaps a more universal experience: Flying in a dream doesn’t mean you know how. But how is that relevant to whether the dream is lucid or not?

      If you experience awareness that you’re dreaming, and you have some degree of influence over the dream, you’re having a lucid dream. At that point, an experienced lucid dreamer can do pretty much whatever they want. I used to perform ‘reality checks’ because of bad nightmare experiences – I habitually bit my tongue anytime I felt anxiety. If I was dreaming, it wouldn’t hurt. When I got older and didn’t have as much anxiety about bad dreams, the habit faded and I don’t lucid dream much any more.

      Interestingly, I had a vivid visual imagination as a kid, to the point it would scare the crap out of me if my thinking got dark. At some point in my tweens, I lost that and now I have virtually no ability to form visual ‘images’, but the anxiety is gone too.

      1. Thanks for sharing your experience, it’s fascinating to learn abou these things.
        Because of the tongue bite.. May I ask if you remember ever feeling pain in dreams?
        I’m asking, because this happened a few to me a times in my dreams. If I remember correctly, among other things, it was about hurting my leg while falling or stumbling or something. The pain was muted/toned down, though. It still felt uncomfortable, however.

  3. I occasionally dream that I am lucidly dreaming and then I wake and realise I was just dreaming
    How can you actually start and end this process? Is there a scientifically proven way to lucid dream?

    1. The general consensus is ‘reality checks’ work reliably for most people. You basically form a habit of checking something regularly – how many fingers you have, does a pinch or biting your tongue hurt, do two quick glances at your watch differ drastically, is there anything in the environment that is ‘wacky’. If you get good enough at checking routinely when you’re awake, eventually it will happen when you’re dreaming.

      The experience above is widespread and many people have experienced it independently of each other. I did it to myself as a child by accident because I had nightmares. Here’s a NIH report on research involving lucid dreaming. There is some interesting peer-reviewed stuff out there – it is a measurable and unique state of neurophysiology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7379166/

    1. That would depend on how lucid they are. This could potentially work with locked in syndrome, but that is characterized by not having any control, so communication based on movement is out by principal. Maybe there is something that can be picked up by EEG, I don’t know.

  4. I occasionally have bad nightmares in which i turn semi-lucid. I already know morse code. I think this might actually be able to be of help to me, if i rig it up to an alarm clock so i can escape the terrors.

    1. There’s other, less technical methods to get out of thoseterror-dreams. Once you learn to go fully lucid in your dreams, they’re at your will. Turn terror into delight, so to say…

    2. Above I recounted my own method I developed as a child – I just started biting my tongue when I had anxiety. Did it often enough waking that it became a long-term habit, and started happening in my dreams and alerting me enough to cause lucidity. Maybe that method isn’t ideal, but it doesn’t require anything besides your starting equipment. :)

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