virtual dreamer

nextI have written extensively over the years about the process of falling asleep and have sorted my journal into four areas of interest.

Five Questions about Virtual Dreaming

I would like to spend this 'sleep thought' answering a few questions that have been posed to me over the last few months.

1. What is Virtual Dreaming?

Virtual Dreaming is a term I coined to describe our version of nature sounds. We combine natural relaxing sounds with virtually real audio environments. This promotes visualization. In other words, if you were standing on a secluded beach you might hear waves but if you were standing at a lighthouse you might hear waves, flags on the yardarm flapping, seagulls, ships passing and so on. The combination of both background audio effects (to visualize) and nature sound (to sooth) is a potent relaxation method.

2. But why do you call it Virtual Dreaming?

If you can think of a better term let me know. Much like in deep meditation and hypnosis, the human brain's secondary visual cortex interprets visualizing and REM dreaming in much the same way. By stimulating this natural brain function we can promote the onset of relaxing Theta brainwaves and sleep. We create 'virtually real' audio environments. Ergo, the term virtual dreaming seemed like a 'no-brainer'. No pun intended.

3. Do you have a favorite Virtual Dream?

It's interesting how my preferences change with the seasons. I was almost addicted to Jumbo Jet for awhile (a strange phenomena) then I moved on to Thunder Train and now I am enjoying White Water as a sleep induction method. I have a tendency to believe that the ultimate virtual dream has yet to be recorded.

4. Where do you get you ideas for a Virtual Dream?

Since no one has ever done this before the ideas in the early going were easy to come up with. Relaxation dreamscapes like Twilight Golf and The Old Lighthouse were suggestions by insomniac brethren of mine. Direct input from patrons is an excellent source of new material. There is only three variables I consider when starting a new audio project. Is it ultimately relaxing? Can you fall asleep to it? And, finally, is it technically possible to record?

5. You state that Virtual Dreams become more potent with time. How is that?

As the listener becomes more familiar with the sequence of 'audio events' in each recording the visualizations become easier to anticipate. An example would be the aforementioned flag flapping in The Old Lighthouse. If you know ahead of time you are about to hear the flapping sound then the ability to visualize the flag becomes second nature. You might also be surprised by how your mind can almost go on auto-pilot while listening to them. And when that happens while relaxed... you are going to sleep.

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