“Lucid dreaming lets you make use of the dream state that comes to you every night to have a stimulating reality.” ~ Stephen LaBerge
Have you ever been in the middle of a dream when suddenly you not only know that you are dreaming, but you find you have complete control over the dream itself? If you have, then you are among the few who have had the rare experience of lucid dreaming.
People seek the lucid dreaming experience because of its many benefits, such as; creative expansion, fantasy fulfillment, subconscious exploration and the potential healing of psychological issues, past trauma, fears, phobias, physical ailments and pain.
In a world of mundane and expected experience, lucid dreaming is an exciting frontier full of endless possibility for exploration and adventure. With all of this potential, it’s no wonder so many seek to have the lucid dreaming experience.
But these types of dreams are difficult to induce through will alone. Even if you do become lucid, it can be difficult to maintain enough lucidity to achieve control over your reasoning and emotions. Afterward, it is common that perception and recall remain elusive and the lucid experience is lost.
The good news is that lucid dreams can be induced through various means of concentration, visualization and intention. With practice and focus, it is possible to successfully achieve them, but these methods take time and dedication without guaranteed results.
If you want to be certain that you have a lucid experience, supplements are the quickest and most reliable method available.
Natural supplements to encourage lucid dreaming
There are several natural supplements that are known to invoke lucid dreaming by directly affecting the chemistry of the brain. I have personally experimented with many of them, finding some to work better than others. Here are my top three picks that have proven to be successful.
All three are natural and over-the-counter supplements with little-to-no side effects, but please check with your doctor before you take these:
Fans of the popular Harry Potter series will recognize the name of this herb, as it has been known for centuries for its supernaturally provocative qualities. Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) is often used as a tonic for pain, to relieve stress, aid in digestion, induce meditative and prophetic states, to ward-off evil spirits, heal your third eye chakra and as a way to induce lucid dreaming.
In fact, Roman soldiers were known to place Mugwort inside their shoes, claiming that it enabled them to march for longer distances with more speed and stamina, and less pain, than without.
It has also been used in divination rituals when taken as a tea, smoked by sailors as an alternative to tobacco, and sometimes burned in ceremony by Native Americans for purification and protection.
To use Mugwort for lucid dreaming, you can either take it in pill form, or drink it as a tea. Some also claim it works just as well just to put Mugwort leaves under your pillow before sleeping, although this method proved unsuccessful in my own experiments.
Mugwort is readily available as loose-leaf tea, or in over-the counter tablets, at most health or vitamin retailers. However, it must not be used by pregnant or nursing mothers as it has a relaxing effect on the uterus which can lead to potential miscarriage or harm to the nursing child. Also, it is possible to be allergic to this herb, especially if you have a known allergy to plants in the daisy family (Asteraceae). Instructions for dosage as a pill should be followed as indicated on the label.
Results from personal experience with Mugwort were somewhat effective. When taken in pill form, dreaming was much deeper, more colorful and vivid than normal, however it proved to be hit-or-miss as far as the occurrence of lucid dreaming.
Mugwort induced dreams that were absolutely more remarkable than without. Also, it doesn’t seem to create any unwanted symptoms, other than lending a slightly calming demeanor that wore off after a few hours of awakening.
This one is a great place to start, and a personal favorite from this list because of its ease of use and relaxing side-effect without a drowsy hang-over.
Galantamine is an amino acid known as a neurotransmitter, or chemical in the brain responsible for communicating messages from one nerve to another. The brain naturally produces Galantamine as a form of Acetylcholine (ACh).
When the levels of Acetylcholine in the brain are elevated, it can boost memory, learning ability, and increase time spent in REM sleep. Low levels of this substance are associated with suppressed sleep, poor memory, mental fog and even dementia.
Galantamine, a natural supplement is derived from certain flowers, is readily available in over-the counter tablets from most health or vitamin retailers. Because of its effect on increasing brain levels of ACh, it has been successfully tested as an inducer of lucid dreaming. To use it in this way, purchase the 4 to 8 mg capsules.
Because ACh will direct the brain into the REM sleep pattern, you must first sleep for 4-5 hours before taking the Galantamine, then take a tablet and return to sleep. If you take it before you go to bed, you will bypass the normal sleep cycles and fall directly into a deep sleep. This will reduce your chances of recalling your dreams and having a lucid experience.
Galantamine tends to rapidly absorb into the body and remains in your system for a full 48 hours. Because of this, you must wait 4 or more days between doses to use it successfully for lucid dreaming. This will only enable you to practice lucid dreaming with Galantamine once or twice a week. It won’t work at all if you take it consecutively, so give it time to clear your system before trying again.
Possible side effects reported are as follows; headaches, drowsiness upon awakening, dizziness, lethargy, diarrhea, nausea, increased menstrual flow, among others.
Dosage: Take 4-8 mg, every 4 days, 4-5 hours after sleeping, and return to sleep. Do not take it consecutively. Check with your doctor before taking it.
Results from personal experience with this supplement were impressive. Lucid dreaming occurred in every instance of ingestion, dreams were very vivid, recall was notable, and the dreams lasted longer than with any other supplements on this list.
However, the trouble of waking after a few hours of sleep to take it, and the drowsy hang-over it left behind, make it a little less user-friendly than other, natural supplement options.
Choline with Galantamine
Choline is produced naturally in the human body by the liver. Defined as a macronutrient, it is water soluble vitamin related to folate and B vitamins. It is said to benefit the nervous, digestive, endocrine, and reproduction systems, effecting metabolism, muscle movement, energy and brain functions. Like Galatamine, Choline also promotes Ach, which can deepen REM sleep and enhance lucid dreaming.
Personal results from taking Choline for lucid dreaming were positive. Dream recall was vivid, and dreams were much longer than usual. Side effects or hang-over did not occur on any occasion, and sleep was restful. However, lucidity did not occur as often as with Galantamine.
While I did not have 100% successful lucid dreams with Choline alone, I found that if I combined it with the Galatamine, the effects were powerful and increasingly lucid. This combination, so far in my studies, seems to be the most effective and the one I recommend most if you truly want to have the lucid dream experience. When coupled with Galantamine, dream recall was much better, and dream duration much longer than when taken alone.
In the body, Choline loses its efficacy quickly, but if you couple it with Galantamine the levels of Ach will continue to accumulate, keeping the process working until the both supplements are eliminated from the system. This combination enables a longer opportunity for lucidity to occur.
Dosage: For lucid dreaming purposes, use CDP-choline with 250-500mg, combined with 250-500 mg of Galantamine. Choline can be taken before bed, but Galantamine must still be ingested after a few hours of sleep for efficacy.
Always take precaution and please check with your doctor before you take any of these. Although these are each natural supplements, there may be side effects that are not safe for you.
The results of these supplements and their effect on lucid dreaming will vary with each person. Experiment with each one, and record your results, so you can find what work best for you.
Lucid dreaming can be a fun and exciting way to explore conscious awareness without risk. If you have a lucid dream, have fun with it. Play with the reality that presents itself to you, explore your boundaries, push your limits, heal your psyche, tap into your creativity and follow wherever your imagination leads you.