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Dream Leaf—Turning Dreams into Business (Literally)

Dream Leaf is a fascinating company based out of Utah that uses herbal supplements to purportedly facilitate a variety of cognitive functions such as "Lucid Dreaming, Dream Recall, Balanced Sleep, and Longer Dreams." They have a passionate fan base with over 40,000 followers on Facebook and a recent invite to appear on the TV show "Doctor's."

Dream Leaf's flagship product claims to promote restful and lucid sleep sounds like something out of the Matrix. You start by taking a blue pill before bed, and wake up 4 hours later to take a red one. We sat down with cofounder Alex Southworth to see what inspired this unique product and how they've reached such success.

1. How’d you get into lucid dreaming and what inspired you to build a business around it?

I’ve always had a fascination with dreaming in general.   And Intuitively, I guess I always sensed that there was more going on in dreams than people realized.  So when I first learned about lucid dreaming, the idea really intrigued me because it seemed like an opportunity to explore that mysterious world a little more deeply.  I was a little skeptical of the concept at first but after I started having some success with it, I realized how incredible these experiences could be.  It really does give you a unique glimpse into the power of the mind and I think that’s something everyone needs to witness. I guess that’s really the reason I decided to start Dream Leaf.  I was sick of being that weird kid that was into lucid dreaming and wanted to help the world realize that this is not just some mystical practice but is a scientifically sound practice with real life applications.  Dream Leaf was my attempt to help give the skeptic a chance to verify the reality of conscious dreaming. It’s a thing, and I think it’s important for the world to realize that.

2. How long was the R and D process, and what was involved?

Surprisingly there is quite a bit of scientific literature that either deals with the concept of lucid dreaming supplements, which is really where our research started. The general formula took about 2 years to put together.  Since a few academics had jumped into the topic and studied the effects of certain dietary aids for conscious dream induction, this helped us get our foot in the door initially. But we built upon that kind of research until we were able to come up with the Dream Leaf formula.

3. How would you explain lucid dreaming to someone who’s never heard of it?

I would explain lucid dreaming as any dream in which the dreamer is able to realize they are dreaming. The aim of a lucid dream is typically to control the dream to your liking, which is an ability that you develop with practice.  Some lucid dreams are highly controllable, where you can literally change just about anything in the dream, not just your behavior but the environment of the dreamscape too.  In these dreams, you can choose to do things like fly, visit a past memory, or even have a conversation with a role model if you wanted to.  The cool thing about lucid dreaming is that it taps into your subconscious mind so you can literally smell, feel, hear, taste, and see in your dreams just like you do in waking life.  Your lucid dreams can often cause you to wake up feeling deeply moved, as if the experience were real.

If you’re interested, here’s a little article I wrote that explains my first lucid dreaming experience in full detail.

4. You don’t just have a successful product, you’ve got a vibrant and active community (40,000+ on FB)…was this something you’ve built, or just tapped into?

Thanks!  I mean, we’ve worked hard to get our product in front of the right people and we definitely have to work in order to get our content in front of the right people within this community but our progress has developed pretty organically.  People seem to really enjoy our product and what we are about.  We’ve been really impressed with how cohesive of a community that we engage with.  For the most part, the people we interact with on a regular basis are very intelligent and open-minded individuals who are willing to try anything that makes logical sense.  We get a lot of shares and people bring us up in conversation a lot, which is really why I think we’ve been able to see so much progress.

5. Lucid dreaming is a lesser known and very specific niche, how do you find people that are likely interested in your product? Do you find it arduous to educate people on the benefits?

We don’t focus so much on trying to convince people to try lucid dreaming or educate them on the reasons why.  There are enough people who are trying to lucid dream that we simply help them enhance what they are already doing. 

6. Were there a lot of hoops to jump through in regards to FDA/creating a consumer product?

We work with a great manufacturing company that is FDA compliant and they do most of the heavy lifting.  It was hard work to get things rolling but once you know the right people, and have a trustworthy source for your ingredients, it’s not all that difficult to keep moving.

7. You recently appeared on the TV show Doctor’s, what was that like and how’d they find you?

It was interesting.  Still not sure how they found us.  The exposure was not all that exciting to be honest.  It was dealt with by someone who was not very informed about our product and it was blurred out anyway so it really wasn’t anything worthwhile.

8. What are some of the ways in which dreams have impacted your life?

At this point I look to my dreams to track my sleep health, but also to look deeper into my emotional and spiritual state.  I find that my dreams are very intuitive and as I’ve become more familiar with the metaphor of dreams, it’s helped me understand what’s going on inside in ways that are really quite unique. 

9. From a layman’s perspective, it seems that lucid dreaming would affect your mental focus throughout the day. Does lucid dreaming take away from the mind’s “down time” and how are your energy levels throughout the day?

Actually, I haven’t observed lucid dreaming reducing my focus through out the day.  In fact, there have been a few studies that have shown that lucid dreaming actually correlates with a larger prefrontal cortex and many presume it actually increases cognitive function.  Here’s a little article on that from one of our partners

10. What’s been your strongest marketing vehicle and why?

Strongest marketing vehicle has been our blog and just sharing our content on social media.  There are a lot of people who want to know more about this topic and we really do a good job at helping people see results so I think that has just helped us develop some credibility with our product.  

Please note that KPMG Spark’s sponsorship of this blog article is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity and does not constitute an endorsement of any entity or its products or services. This content represents the views of the author, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG Spark.

KPMG SparkAugust 17, 2016Posted In: Business Tips

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