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Want to Remember Your Dreams? Try Taking Vitamin B6

Summary: Want to remember your dreams? Try taking vitamin B6. Researchers discovered people who take B6 supplements are better able to recall details of their dreams compared to those who were given a placebo.

Source: University of Adelaide.

New research from the University of Adelaide has found that taking vitamin B6 could help people to recall their dreams.

The study published online ahead of print in Perceptual and Motor Skills, included 100 participants from around Australia taking high-dose vitamin B6 supplements before going to bed for five consecutive days.

“Our results show that taking vitamin B6 improved people’s ability to recall dreams compared to a placebo,” says research author Dr Denholm Aspy, from the University’s School of Psychology.

“Vitamin B6 did not affect the vividness, bizarreness or colour of their dreams, and did not affect other aspects of their sleep patterns.

“This is the first time that such a study into the effects of vitamin B6 and other B vitamins on dreams has been carried out on a large and diverse group of people,” Dr Aspy says.

The randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study saw participants taking 240mg of vitamin B6 immediately before bed.

Prior to taking the supplements, many of the participants rarely remembered their dreams, but they reported improvements by the end of the study.

“It seems as time went on my dreams were clearer and clearer and easier to remember. I also did not lose fragments as the day went on,” said one of the participants after completing the study.

According to another participant of the study, “My dreams were more real, I couldn’t wait to go to bed and dream!”

Dr Aspy says: “The average person spends around six years of their lives dreaming. If we are able to become lucid and control our dreams, we can then use our dreaming time more productively.

“Lucid dreaming, where you know that you are dreaming while the dream is still happening, has many potential benefits. For example, it may be possible to use lucid dreaming for overcoming nightmares, treating phobias, creative problem solving, refining motor skills and even helping with rehabilitation from physical trauma.

woman sleeping

Prior to taking the supplements, many of the participants rarely remembered their dreams, but they reported improvements by the end of the study. NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.

“In order to have lucid dreams it is very important to first be able to recall dreams on a regular basis. This study suggests that vitamin B6 may be one way to help people have lucid dreams.”

Vitamin B6 occurs naturally in various foods, including whole grain cereals, legumes, fruits (such as banana and avocado), vegetables (such as spinach and potato), milk, cheese, eggs, red meat, liver, and fish.

“Further research is needed to investigate whether the effects of vitamin B6 vary according to how much is obtained from the diet. If vitamin B6 is only effective for people with low dietary intake, its effects on dreaming may diminish with prolonged supplementation,” says Dr Aspy.

About this neuroscience research article

Interested readers can find out more about Dr Aspy’s work, including new lucid dreaming studies and workshops, via his website.

Source: Denholm Aspy – University of Adelaide
Publisher: Organized by NeuroscienceNews.com.
Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.
Original Research: Open access research for “Effects of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) and a B Complex Preparation on Dreaming and Sleep” by Denholm J. Aspy, Natasha A. Madden, and Paul Delfabbro in Perceptual and Motor Skills. Published April 17 2018.
doi:10.1177/0031512518770326

Cite This NeuroscienceNews.com Article
University of Adelaide “Want to Remember Your Dreams? Try Taking Vitamin B6.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 27 April 2018.
<http://neurosciencenews.com/b6-dreams-8894/>.
University of Adelaide (2018, April 27). Want to Remember Your Dreams? Try Taking Vitamin B6. NeuroscienceNews. Retrieved April 27, 2018 from http://neurosciencenews.com/b6-dreams-8894/
University of Adelaide “Want to Remember Your Dreams? Try Taking Vitamin B6.” http://neurosciencenews.com/b6-dreams-8894/ (accessed April 27, 2018).

Abstract

Effects of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) and a B Complex Preparation on Dreaming and Sleep

Anecdotal evidence indicates that supplementation with vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) before bed can enhance dream vividness and recall. In a single pilot study, Ebben, Lequerica, and Spielman (2002) found that vitamin B6 had a dose-dependent effect of increasing scores on a composite measure of dream vividness, bizarreness, emotionality, and color. The present research replicated this study using a larger and more diverse sample of 100 participants from across Australia. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation of the effects on dreaming and sleep of ingesting 240 mg vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride) before bed for five consecutive days. We also included an exploratory condition involving a B complex preparation containing a range of B vitamins. We found that vitamin B6 significantly increased the amount of dream content participants recalled but did not significantly affect dream vividness, bizarreness, or color, nor did it significantly affect other sleep-related variables. In contrast, participants in the B complex group showed significantly lower self-rated sleep quality and significantly higher tiredness on waking. We discuss the potential for using vitamin B6 in research on lucid dreaming.

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