Although evidence in support of their use is often anecdotal, numerous substances have been used to enhance lucid dreaming.
By far, the one with the greatest potential is galantamine, a substance extracted from various plants, including the snowdrop (i.e., Galanthus) and red spider lily. Available as a prescription drug and an over-the-counter supplement, galantamine has been used to treat mild forms of Alzheimer's disease and other memory impairments. Galantamine inhibits acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme that breaks down the key neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This inhibition increases acetylcholine levels, which in turn is associated with improved memory, learning, and thinking, and prolonged dream or REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. To enhance lucid dreaming, galantamine is commonly taken after 5 to 6 hours of sleep before entering the REM-concentrated phase near morning. Evidence suggests that galantamine increases the odds of having a lucid dream by over fivefold compared with placebo. Galantamine is often used in combination with other supplements, such as choline (often in the form of glycerophosphocholine), a precursor to the important acetylcholine neurotransmitter.
Because galantamine has some physical and psychological side effects, it should be used with discretion. Author Charlie Morley, an advocate for the use of lucid dreaming within a spiritual context (see Dreams of Awakening), believes, "Galantamine vandalizes the spiritual aspect of your unconscious."
A few of the many other substances used to facilitate lucid dreaming include:
1. 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan), a serotonin precursor that suppresses REM sleep early in the night, creating a later REM-rebound effect:
2. sleep-promoting melatonin. which may increase dream vividness;
3. sublingual vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 for promoting dream recall;
4. fish oils, stimulating more intense, vivid dreams;
5. omega-3 fatty acids;
6. apple juice, theorized to increase acetylcholine levels; and
7. mugwort, an herb of folklore, enhancing dream remembrance and vividness.
Because everyone has very different physiology, how these substances affect lucid dreaming, if at all, will be highly variable.
For further information, search the Internet for the specific substance and the term lucid dreaming. or check out Advanced Lucid Dreaming: The Power of Supplements by Thomas Yuschak (Lulu Enterprises; 2006) or Are you Dreaming? Exploring Lucid Dreams: A Comprehensive Guide by Daniel Love (Enchanted Loom Publishing; 2013).
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|Date:||Nov 29, 2014|
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