Dormio App Screen.png

How To Dormio

We’re a team of dream engineering enthusiasts. So glad to have you on board. These dream incubation tools, at their best, can become new avenues for introspection. We’ve created a couple options for using the Dormio system so you can partake no matter what. Read through below:

Since this is a new area of exploration (staging hypnagogia with limited sensors and using serial awakenings to incubate dreams) we’ve created a couple options. We’ve made it all customizable, so you can figure out what works best, then please tell us :)

1) If you have an iPhone, that’s easiest. Use your mobile device to go to this link and download the app with the password ‘sleep’ (app build led by Eyal). It connects to the hardware wirelessly, saves and lets you share audio dream reports, detects silence, detects phone drops and much more. The instructions for how to use the app with the Dormio hardware, or without, are below.

2) If you want to incubate your dreams, but you don’t have an iPhone, Eyal and Matthew are building all the app capabilities into a website, here. It can graph biosignals, record dream reports, deliver auditory dream suggestions, and zip all this data locally so you can analyze it.

3) To give you a headstart on data analysis, we (led by Matthew) have created a site, linked here, specifically to analyze Dormio data. If you use the iPhone app with Dormio hardware, you can find your data on the heroku site and get a graph of your sleep session including signals, deltas, and wakeup times. Your dream reports are not uploaded, unless you share them.

4) If you want to do more customization and you are comfortable using Terminal and Xcode, you can download a Dormio Web App (OpenSleep, built by Tomás) from GitHub here. You’ll get a graph of your biosignals, live, and can use it to code and create interventions using any bluetooth devices you have handy…smell or sound or EMS dream incubation are all possible. Learn more from Tomás about making the first versions of the hardware and software.


This is what the app will look like when you first open it!

Welcome to the dream team :)

Press ‘time based’ if you don’t have the Dormio hardware, for a timer only version of the app. Papers like this one suggest you can do unsupervised, lightweight timer based interventions without sleep staging.

If you have the Dormio wristworn device, turn it on and ‘Press here to connect’. We’re excited about the specificity biosignals offer over a simple timer, to parse the many stages of sleep descent.


Now choose your Dream Theme

This can be whatever you like. We have mostly tested nouns, like volcano or rabbit. But please explore, and tell us what you find!


For the timer only version, you have to tell the app your time until sleep onset

Write your best guess here. If it take you ~10 minutes to fall asleep write 600 seconds. It is best to overestimate by a few minutes here—it’s worse to get the first message while you’re less deep into drowsiness than more


If you don’t have a good guess

Then press phone drop calibration time, and hold your phone in your hand above the floor as you fall asleep. When you drop it, the timer will stop. You will wake up with a number of seconds until sleep, and next time you can just put this into the ‘Time Until Sleep’ section as sleep onset time


Now you will use your voice as a wakeup cue. Press the mic symbol to record

This message will play to wake you up slightly and gather a dream report. Feel free to customize it as you like, maybe saying “you’re getting sleepy” instead of “you’re falling asleep”, or maybe using your name specifically, or say “thinking about” instead of “dreaming about”. It turns out these slight differences really matter.


Now you can record your dream incubation message

Again, press the mic symbol to record the message that you will hear as you slip back into sleep. If you record one message, it will repeat. If you record multiple messages, you can try to create a continuous story...i.e. ‘think of a forest’…’think of the squirrels in the trees’…’think of playing chess with them’…


Now choose your hypnagogic depth

Once hypnagogia is detected, a wakeup message will be played. This choice, light to deep, determines how long beyond hypnagogia detection to play this message. 30 seconds (Light), 60 seconds (Medium), or 90 seconds (Deep). Try them all over a few days.


Now you choose how many loops to do

Each representing one dream report and one dream incubation, before an alarm will wake you fully.


Now you’re ready to sleep. In our experience, this is best in the morning or afternoon.

Set up everything, your recordings etc, before bed, and leave your app on the Dream screen pictured here. Set your alarm 30 minutes before you need to wake up. Roll over gently (don’t move much!) and press ‘Dream’. Enjoy. Alternatively, do this before an afternoon nap. Lie down, and press dream when you are ready to sleep, leaving your phone near your bed so you can record and hear audio


If you don’t have the device

You still press Dream when you are ready to sleep, you just won’t have any biosignals displayed. Don’t worry, you’ve still got all the same magical hypnagogic dreams in you!


Click Experiment at the bottom of the screen to change settings

Enter a user id (UUID) to store data on the server with a specific name

Change the prompt latency (how deep you would like to dream) with more specificity here

Change Min Time To Sleep to give a hard minimum, in case you think Dormio is detecting sleep too early and waking you up too quickly.

Change Max Time Between Sleeps to edit the time you will sleep after the first round of Dream Request and Dream Prompt is over, before the next one comes.

Change the Delta Δ numbers to change thresholds for hypnagogia detection —i.e. if EDA changes by 8, call it hypnagogia, begin audio interaction. HBOSS is our own algo, which combines and smooths these 3 deltas.

Watch live means and adjust Δ in real time while watching a subject or friend sleep


Click the Dreambook to hear, delete and share dreams

These will be organized by Dream Theme. Press play to listen, swipe left to delete, and hold down to share audio via message


This app is being made collaboratively by Eyal Perry, Matthew Ha and Adam Haar Horowitz

And none of it would be possible without all of the folks have contributed to the hardware and software and experimentation, Tomás Vega, Aby Jain, Ishaan Grover, Oscar Rosello and Pedro Reynolds-Cuéllar