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One of my current special interests is dreams. This is not the first time I've been into dreams.  It's been a recurring interest for most of my life.

I've made two purchases recently for my dream interest.

The first is a lucid dreaming app called Capture.  The second is a bottle of pills that is supposed to increase your chances of having lucid dreams.

I'm not actually particularly desiring lucid dreams this time.  The last time I was very into dreams, it was quite important to me.  Now I'm more interested in just having fun, beautiful, spiritual, otherworldly dreams.  If they happen to be lucid, that's cool.  But I'm okay if they're not.  That being usually are my lucid dreams that are the most fun, beautiful, spiritual, and otherworldly.   

Capture has a free mode which seems pretty good in itself.  But I decided to splurge and pay the $6 for a year's subscription.  I say splurge, because often I automatically turn away from apps that aren't free.  I should probably get out of that mindset, especially when a price is so reasonable.


Capture has multiple parts.  I think I'll explain them by just talking about how I personally use the app.

In the morning, I write down my dream.  This goes under the story section.  It's surely optimum to write down one's dreams before getting out of bed.  But A) I don't want to disturb Tim  B) The cats are wanting to eat.

So after I feed Annie and Yeti...and usually also pee, I go upstairs, sit on the couch, and write down my dreams.  Annie usually comes up while I'm doing this and sits on my lap.

The writing part takes about thirty minutes.

Twice I've also written down dreams in the middle of the night.  But usually I hope for the best, in terms of remembering, and wait until morning to write things down.

I've been a little confused about what Capture intends for us to do in terms of dividing dreams.  There's a question in their analyze section that asks how long our dream was.  It makes me feel that we are supposed to write each dream down separately.  

I'm not even sure what I mean by "each dream".  Are dreams divided by storylines?  Awakenings?

What I've ended up doing is, the few times I've written down dreams in the middle of the night, I write those down as a separate dream.  Otherwise I write down all the dreams of that night as one dream.  

After I write down the dreams and give the dreams a title, I usually take a break. I do something else. Usually, this break is feeding the cats again.  (Yeti has a vomiting issue, so I have to feed him small amounts and often).

Then I go back to Capture.  I fill out the analyze sections which asks about dream length,  symbols, moods, lucidity, vividness, etc.  

The symbol section is a lot of fun...and helpful.  The symbols are divided into characters, people, objects, themes, and actions.  It took me awhile to decide what to put where.  For example, I pictured themes as being more the common dream themes (ie losing teeth) or are personal dream themes.  But now I'm kind of using the themes section as a miscellaneous section...and my list there is quite long.

For characters, I use proper nouns.  I write down names of people who appear in the dream, who I think about in the dream, who I vaguely remember being in the dream, who are mentioned in the dream.  And I even write down names of people who were not in the dream but someone reminded me of them in the dream.  For example, this morning I wrote down Melissa Gilbert. She wasn't in my dream.  But there was a woman who reminded me of her.  

I put objects into the objects section.  That's pretty straight forward.

For the people section, I use common nouns or general descriptions.  For example, this morning I added actor/actress for Melissa Gilbert...and also Harrison Ford.  

I add 1st family for any dreams about my family of origin (parents, sisters) and 2nd family for Tim and Jack.  

I had some of my confusion over friendship leak into the process.  I started using the term past friends along with where I had met these particular friends.  This way I can later look back and see how many times I dreamed of past friends from...let's say Madison, Wisconsin.  The friends definitely in the past were easy.  What confused me is the friends who are mostly in the past, but we still communicate very occasionally.  In most situations, I'd consider them past-friends.  But for the sake of the dream app, I decided to label them as just friends.  

I had to make a decision about animals. For characters, it was pretty easy.  I list Annie, Yeti, and our other non-human companions in that section.  Animals can be characters.  But they really aren't people.  Yet it seems morally depraved to list animals as objects.  So I chose the people section over the object section.

In the people section, I also tend to have unknown generalized woman, man, child, mother.  I seem to often dream of strangers.

I tend to usually skip over the action section.  I put most of that stuff into themes.

One aspect of the Capture app that I skipped over initially but now love is the photo section.  You can search through some provided photos to illustrate your dream. The selection isn't fantastic. But I've been able to find good-enough photos for most of my dreams.  I didn't use it at first, because I thought it was just an image you'd see when you clicked on the particular dream.  But the image is actually used on your dream-list page.  So when you're scrolling through, you can see the title, date, and an image.  I try to usually pick a photo that is not related to the title.  That way if the title doesn't help me remember the dream, maybe the photo might.  

Note: You can also add your own photos, but I tried it once, and the app said the photo was too big.  If someone is in the mood to take the time to resize things, they might take advantage of this.  

After I write down all the symbol things, I go onto do other things.  Then later during the day or at night, I will fill out the interpretation section.  This is one of my favorite parts.  With this, I go through each symbol and write either nothing; what the symbol might mean to me, some specifics that I forgot or had forgotten to mention when initially writing down the dream; or I just write down simple clarifications.  

For me, this activity has two purposes.  The first is it's playing psychologist to myself.  It gets me to think about my feelings towards things...and at times come to very difficult realizations.  The second is to keep an easy record of patterns and/or just have an easy way to access past dreams.  With each symbol, on the interpretation section, you can click on it and see other dreams in which the symbol the notes you once wrote about the symbol.

So...if I'm one day curious about what actors/actresses I've dreamed about, I can click on that and see a list.  

I've come to learn that if I leave a symbol blank, when I refer to it will give me no information.  For example: It would just say the name of the dream (with the image) and the symbol.  Let's say...Animal. helps to at least quickly jot down what animal it was that I dreamed of.

I'm not sure if the above paragraph makes enough sense.  So I'll just say...filling out the form as completely as possible helps with filing, retrieving, etc.  

I tend to list symbols as excessively as some people list hashtags on social media.  I do a lot of repeating the same symbol in different forms.  Well...because let's say I want to later find all my dreams about pastries and another day I'm looking for all my dreams about food in general.  So if I dreamed about chocolate donuts, I might list that under donuts, pastries, chocolate, and food.  

Because of my massive number of symbols, I usually don't do the interpretation part in one sitting.  I do bits at a time throughout the day and evening.

With the $6, you get a statistics/chart kind of thing.  I've not been overly impressed with this.

First of all, it lists only your three top symbols.  I don't need an app to tell me that Tim, and Jack are the most common "symbols" in my dreams.  It would be much more interesting to see the top ten or twenty symbols.

The other thing I feel to be a bit off is the emotion part.  Capture was trying to tell me that my dreams are full of super-positivity.  The little emotion graph was very unbalanced.  I started to realize this is because they have divided the emotions love, joy, peace, anger, sadness, fear, and unease into multiple more specific emotions.  So while love might not truly dominate my dreams, I do seem to have more variety in the types of love I feel.  

If I have a dream where I have a shitload of fear and a little bit of friendship, a little bit of love, and little bit of gratitude, the graph is going to say my dream was super loving and mildly fearful.  And that would be a lie.

I fixed things by skipping over the specific emotions and just listing the general emotion once.  I figure if I had one of those specific emotions, and I feel it's important to mention it, I can add it to the theme section.  

Even with going back and fixing the
emotions, my chart still shows that my
dreams lean more towards positive emotions. 
I'm pleasantly surprised to see anger is
the lowest. And I do feel this is accurate; that
lately I've been much less angry than 
I used to be (in real life AND dreams) 

I also think, to make the emotions more accurate, if I do have particularly strong emotions that night...I might click on two of the emotion words, so that emotion gets special emphasis.  

Last but not least...but kind of least for me at this point are the lucidity tools.  I think the reality check is included with the free version and theWake Back to Bed and Wake Induced come with the premium version.

I actually didn't look at the latter until just now.  I expected them to be much more intensive.  It turns out they're just sounds to listen to while trying to meditate back to sleep and an alarm to wake yourself in the middle of the night.  The sound effect choices sound kind of cool, so maybe I'll try it someday.

I have the reality checks enabled.  Every so often, my phone buzzes or I get a message on my phone asking: Am I dreaming?

A dutiful person would probably take the time to check things out. Like try to fly...see if any teeth are lose, look to see if words are moving on the page, etc.  

I just lazily quickly answer the question.

The first few times, I quickly thought/answered: no.  Then I realized, I shouldn't be too quick to judge.  So, now I usually answer with something less confident like...maybe or I'm not sure.  

There was this one morning....

I opened up the dishwasher to unload it.  I felt something fall on my head.  I tried to ignore it....continue with my chores.  But I felt that this something was still in my head.  I reached up and found a lightsaber chopstick stuck in my hair.  I pulled it out. 

At some point later, either my phone buzzed or my phone asked the question.  Am I dreaming?

Well, it would seem that YES I was dreaming.  I mean logically speaking, that was a dream.  Or it should have been.

But as far as I know, it wasn't.  

Because I never had the part where I wake up and write down the dream.

I have no idea how the chopstick flew up and landed in my hair.  Did opening the dishwasher propel it somehow?  But it just seems so unlikely (in reality vs dreams) for it not only to land in my hair but lodge in there as well.     

If weird things like that are going to happen to me in real life, how can I easily answer the question of whether or not I'm dreaming or awake?

I've done reality checks before the app...especially in times where I've very much wanted lucid dreams.  The plan is supposed to be that you get so used to doing the checks in real life that the habit carries into your dream.  I don't think that has ever worked for me.

This morning I was thinking that if the question ever did carry over into my dream....what will probably happen is this: I'll get the question in the dream.  I'll answer "No" or "maybe" and then quickly continue onto my NOT-lucid dream.  Then later, I'll wake up and be annoyed at my dream self's stupidity and the loss of opportunity.  

Onto the other thing I bought.  This post is already quite long, so I'll probably save the very-detailed details (ie: ingredients) for a maybe-future-post.

Quickly, though....the pills are called Dream Leaf.  Amazon has them $30 dollars for sixty pills.  BUT you are supposed to take two pills a night—a red pill and a blue pill.  One pill helps you to fall asleep.  Then you're supposed to set your alarm for four to five hours later and take the next pill.  The second one is supposed to do things to your brain to increase the vividness of your dreams.  

What I've read in reviews is that while the pills work well for increasing the vividness of your dreams, it's up to your own talent/skills to have an actual lucid dream.  

If these pills do give me awesome dreams, I think a dollar for the experience is a really good price.  Plus, when I went to buy it on Amazon, there was some kind of lightening deal going on, and I got the pills for nine dollars off. That was very cool.  

Even though the price is good for such a worthwhile experience, I plan to ration them out.  The main reason being I'll probably wait for when Tim is out of town, so I can avoid disturbing him with the waking up, writing down earlier dreams, etc.  But also...recording and analyzing my regular (not- Dream Leaf) dreams probably takes up to an hour and half of my time.  I imagine the Dream Leaf dreams are going to be even more time-consuming. 

I'm thinking I might also experiment a couple of times... see what happens if I take only one of the pills instead of both.

Anyway, I hope it work at least a little bit.  I also hope it doesn't work too well in that I become some kind of lucid dreaming addict. feels very reasonable to spend a dollar for a lucid dream.  But it seems excessive to spend $365 dollars a year on lucid dreaming. 

Then again.... that mindset can make any habitual purchase in our life seem very excessive.  

Edited to add (1/18/2022) I changed back to the intended way of recording emotions.  I decided if I looked back at a dream, I would like to know what emotions I was feeling...Well and also, sometimes it feels cathartic clicking on the various emotions. I decided these two things are more important to me than what an overall graph shows. 


  1. So, it's kind of a dream database with extra bits. I'm not sure the message thing would work for me, I don't remember ever having a cell phone in a dream.

    The fact that there's a red and blue pill to affect dream states is kind of hilarious.

    I already set my alarm 4-5 hours after I go to wake up. I think I may have other problems than lucid dreaming.

    Looking forward to updates.

    1. Yikes!!!!! That's concerning. Sorry. I hope you manage to get more sleep someday. I know, though. It's hard to fit all of life into the recommended waking hours.


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