How does taking vitamin B6 work before sleeping?
After waking up, many people cannot remember their dreams of last night. Researchers have now found that an average dose of vitamin B6 before bedtime helps to better remember dreams and even improve control over dreams.
In their current study, the University of Adelaide scientists found that taking vitamin B6 leads to improved memory and better control of dreams. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "Perceptual and Motor Skills".
What are lucid dreams?
This was the first large-scale study on the effects of vitamin B6 and other B vitamins on human so-called lucid dreams (lucid dreams), the experts explain. With lucid dreams, the dreamer is aware that he is dreaming, explains study author Dr. Denholm Aspy from Adelaide University’s School of Psychology.
Participants took vitamin B6 before sleeping
The subjects involved in the study consumed 240 mg of vitamin B6 immediately before going to bed. Before taking the supplement, many of the participants said that they rarely remembered their dreams. At the end of the study, however, many of the subjects reported improvements. A stronger memory of past dreams has numerous potential benefits such as treating nightmares, creative problem solving, recreation, maybe even skills improvement or for rehabilitation purposes, the scientists say.
Study included 100 subjects
In order to have so-called lucid dreams, it is first of all very important to be able to remember dreams regularly. The results of the study suggest that taking vitamin B6 could be an effective way to enable people to dream of lucid. Similar studies had previously been done on a group of twelve people, but the current study, which included 100 participants, now provides more conclusive evidence. Vitamin B6 increases the levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain, which regulates the type of sleep that people experience at night.
Vitamin B6 increases serotonin levels
Taking vitamin B6 increases serotonin levels at the beginning of the night and serotonin increases deep sleep, so that vitamin B6 suppresses dreaming in the first half of the night, explains Dr. Aspy. When this effect wears off, the brain tries to compensate for it. This creates a so-called REM rebound effect, which intensifies dreams in the second half of the night. Timing is very important because most dreams occur in the last couple of hours of sleep, the expert adds.
More research is needed
In the future, further studies will combine the intake of vitamin B6 with techniques that make lucid dreams easier. One technique is to wake up after five hours of sleep and then repeat the sentence: The next time I dream, I want to remember that I'm dreaming, the study's authors say. This process is repeated until the intention is anchored in the head and then those affected continue to sleep the rest of the night. When the technology works, sufferers begin to dream, but can also remember their intentions. In a so-called lucid dream, the dreamers can basically do anything they want, the researchers explain.
Where does the body get vitamin B6 from?
Vitamin B6 is available as a dietary supplement in pharmacies. Vitamin B6 is also naturally found in foods. These include, for example, whole grain cereals, fruits, vegetables, dairy products and fish. If people are interested in experiencing lucid dreams, they should take vitamin B6 before sleeping, study author Dr. However, people should never take vitamin B6 every night and should not overdose it, the doctor adds. Stick to the dosages shown on the packaging. Also, talk to your doctor if problems or side effects arise, the expert said. (as)