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Last July I wrote about some weird lucid dreaming devices and pills I found that people had patented.
Some of these devices were pretty funny sounding, and I had to share. (And to my surprise and delight, this was one of the most commented posts ever!)
Today I stumbled upon another patent in regards to lucid dreaming from 2006.
Well, me being somewhat of a nerd ;), I did a few google searches and discovered that the inventor behind the patent, Jeff Luciano, is the founder of Dreamboost, a company which makes…you guessed it, supplements for dreaming, otherwise known as “lucid dreaming pills!”
(Jeff is also unknowingly perhaps a future interviewee here at Dreaming Life, if he agrees to such a thing. 🙂 )
The paper presenting the patent is called a “Dietary supplement and a method to enhance sleep and lucid dreaming”
The description reads:
A nutritional supplement for enhancing sleep and lucid dreaming in humans. It contains a combination of ingredients in proportions calculated to enhance lucid dreaming. The primary ingredients are Calea zacatechichi, L-5-Hydroxytryptophan (L-5-HTP), and Vinpocetine. In addition, the nutritional supplement may include the secondary ingredient Melatonin and the tertiary ingredients Wild Lettuce Extract, Mugwort Extract, Dimethylaminoethanol Powder (DMAE), Passionflower Extract and Green Tea Extract. Further, various Vitamins may be added such as certain B vitamins, D and C, as well as Zinc, Magnesium and Calcium. The selection and amounts of the ingredients of the nutritional supplement promotes sleep and lucid dreaming in people who have taken the nutritional supplement prior to going to sleep.
Analysis of the ingredients shows substances known to have an effect on dreams, especially (and logically), what the patent describes as the 1 of 3 primary ingredients: Calea Zacatechichi.
The other two primary ingredients are known not so much specifically as dream aids, but for their effect in a round about way: L-5-HTP, which raises serotonin levels (see 5-HTP discussed on DreamViews) and Vinpocetine, which is supposed to aid memory function and general brain health.
Ironic Side note: For much of 2006 I took both 5-HTP and vinpocetine supplements daily for non-dream related reasons. I did not know at the time they also supposedly could have an effect on dreams. Personally I noticed zero effect on my dreams. This once again brings to mind the debate on how much dream supplements effect dreams only because of the expectation that they will effect your dreams aka the placebo effect.
I’ve heard of people using mugwort as an effective dream aid, and of course, B vitamins are fairly well known for their effect on dreams, especially Vitamin B6.
The rest of the ingredients are more vague, in my opinion, and perhaps I’m just not familiar with them. (Please enlighten me.)
I don’t understand the inner workings of patents, but isn’t it odd that in order to file a patent like this, one has to submit a paper which discusses the historical background to lucid dreaming, with quotes such as:
Dreams have been recognized as sacred and spiritual experiences in many cultures around the world since the beginning of recorded history and perhaps even earlier. In the last century, the understanding of dreams has changed from one related exclusively to the spiritual to that pertaining to the physical/psychological realm. Toward the end of the twentieth century, the idea of lucid dreaming, or dreaming with deliberate intention and control, has moved from the world of shamans or spiritualists to realization that lucid dreaming can be achieved by anyone with the assistance of nutritional supplements and practice.
In order to enhance the training of a person to develop strong lucid dreaming skills, various devices have been devised. Such devices use light and/or sound to help trigger lucid dreams. Among the shamans of some primitive cultures, they would enhance their ability to have lucid dreams by using various drugs. However, as one can imagine, most of these substances are considered illegal in the U.S
And then the climatic ah-ha moment of the patent:
There is a need, therefore, for a safe but effective nutritional supplement that helps a person go to sleep and which can enhance lucid dreaming even without extensive mental preparation or exercises.
If you like reading patents as much as I do, the patent is available here for curious minds to dissect.