Inquiry on the Oddities of Alpha Sleep

This may not be the most thrilling post, but it is a subject that I think is worth more attention for my fellow dreamers.

I have been told by a friend of mine that he often experiences these loops of what happened the previous day while he is about to go to sleep. Sometimes as he recounts the repetitive tasks of the day (i.e. playing tennis, checking his phone, ect.) and will be startled awake by sounds or feelings that get “too real” during these memories. This is known as a hypnogogic hallucination, a mental mishap followed by a sudden muscle contraction that is common during the first stage of sleep.

Alpha waves are released when the mind enters a relaxed, focused state and provide a contrast to the other powerhouse Beta waves that are active in our day-to-day life.

Alpha waves have far-reaching potential, ranging from meditative expertise to controlling video games with your mind. I’ll get back to meditation, but the mind-reading technology is getting cheaper and more trendy. In this TED talk, Tan Le describes the accessibility and utility of headsets made to take advantage of this mental energy.

What I imagine a brain-wave to look like. As created by Dale Chihuly, and displayed in Fairchild Botanical Gardens.

What I imagine a brain-wave to look like. Sculpture created by Dale Chihuly and displayed in Fairchild Botanical Gardens.

In July of 2014 I had the opportunity to attend the annual science exhibition of The Royal Society and saw a display on brain function. Strapped into a headset, I won a brain-powered game of pong versus an elderly woman I had just met. The exhibition educators explained that youth, mental acuity, and inherent ability all play a role in the strength of brain waves. With this I’ve come to question how lucid dreaming and meditation could increase our Alpha wave control.

It seems natural to me that if these brain waves are being projected in such a way that can be measured externally, the mode of that projection should be able to be manipulated by the user. With new technology in this field we may not be so far from telepathy. Exercising alpha waves through meditative practices seems like the best way to ensure adaptability to this upcoming realm of technology. Although that’s just speculation.

How does this energy translate into sleep rituals? Is there more to hypnogogic hallucinations than mere inconvenience?

I want to know so badly. In my youth I dreamed of creating DBZ kamehameha waves and moving objects with the power of my mind. The simmering potential of alpha waves proves to me that these fantasies aren’t so far from reality.

Dream on little dreamers,