Many people believe their dreams reveal deeper insights. Dream journals or dream diaries let dreamers record their dreams while they're still fresh in their minds, which means as soon as they wake up. Lightened Dream is a freeware dream journal, but it also promises to help you understand, interpret, and even control your dreams. While the software is well-executed, the psychological concepts are less convincing. But we think skepticism is a sensible way to approach any such program, let alone one with as many unique twists as Lightened Dream.
LucidCode's highly unusual EULA requires users to swear not to drink or take drugs, engage in certain adult practices, and hew to various vaguely described behaviors, though only those related to the usual distribution and fair use restrictions appear to be enforceable (we hope). Recklessly ignoring these red flags, we pressed on. The complex Explorer-style interface includes separate toolbars for Controls and the program's unique Lucidity features like REM Cycles, Subliminals, Readings, and Recordings. In fact, Lightened Dream includes many highly unique features, such as a Dream Sign Builder and something called a WILD Inducer, and also many controls, features, and options. Few are intuitive in concept, though every function we tried worked well. Recording and saving details about a dream requires some concentration and effort, even when it's a wide-awake simulation. When you're groggy, the bar rises, especially if you're putting all your concentration into recording your dream instead of meeting the new day.
And that brings us to the crux of Lightened Dream and whether it's worth the very considerable time and effort required to adopt (and maintain) an ongoing program to record and analyze one's dreams. Lightened Dream is well-crafted software, whatever can be said about its methods. If you believe that a deeper understanding of your dreams can lead to self-improvement or even enlightenment and are willing to commit to that effort, you're certainly not alone, and you'll probably like Lightened Dream. If you think dreams are more like your brain browsing YouTube while you sleep, there's a better use for your waking hours.