If you can better remember your dreams, you also might enhance them to become more vivid, emotional, and lucid.
When it comes to the dream world, lucid dreaming is pretty much as sensational as it gets. You could be soaring through the cosmos in a pair of jet-pack boots or ruling an underwater sea kingdom — but you’re fully aware that you’re in a dream. For those of you who rarely experience lucid dreams or can never seem to remember your dreams after waking up, there may be some good news. Researchers are exploring vitamin B6’s ability to enhance dreams as well as induce lucid ones.
Denholm Aspy, the psychology student at the University of Adelaide who is running the experiment, says vitamin B6 and enhanced dreams have previously been linked, but the study was a small sample size of just 12 people. His study will be the first-ever to compare vitamin B6 with other B vitamins or a placebo vitamin in a large, diverse group of participants.
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“Early research suggests that taking vitamin B6 may be able to make dreams more vivid, colourful, emotional and bizarre, and other B vitamins may also help people to remember their dreams or have lucid dreams (dreams where people are aware they are dreaming, while they are dreaming),” Aspy said in a press release.
He also says that the average person spends about 5 years of their life dreaming — that’s a long time to harness the advantages of becoming lucid. Lucid dreaming has a number of potential benefits like “overcoming nightmares, treating phobias, creative problem solving, refining motor skills and even helping with rehabilitation from physical trauma,” says Aspy.
Studies have even shown that practicing something in a lucid dream, like playing a sport or studying specific test material, can actually improve the dreamer’s performance in real life. Scientists have long speculated that dreams must serve some type of evolutionary purpose, helping our brains record and make sense of our daily events or work through our subconscious emotions.
However, in order to maximize the potential benefits of dreaming, it’s critical to be able to remember your dreams in the first place. “Taking B vitamins may help people to recall their dreams and have more vivid dreams, which could be very valuable for people wanting to have lucid dreams,” says Aspy.
In addition to Vitamin B6, there are other biological and lifestyle factors that can contribute to the ability to recall dreams as well as how vivid and lucid they are — diet, genetics, and level of restlessness. Aspy says that people who are restless sleepers tend to wake up more in the middle of the night which helps them better remember their dreams.
In addition to vitamin B6 supplements, you can find vitamin B6 in a number of food sources — beef, turkey, bananas, chickpeas, pistachios, cheese, and potatoes are some of the vitamin B6-rich options.
Hopefully Aspy’s research goes on to discover more about the correlation between lucid dreaming, dream recall, and vitamin B6. It’s an intriguing field that hasn’t been thoroughly researched, which is evident in the fact that Aspy’s study is the first large-scale and diverse one of its kind. Unlocking the mysteries of our subconscious dream worlds could lead to better health and self-awareness in our waking lives.