Whether you realize it or not, many foods you eat, herbs you take, or medicines you use impact your dreams every night. Learning how to use these herbs and nutrients in a way that increases your dream recall, extends the length of your dreams, enhances your ability to control your dreams, or generally increases the vividness of your dreams, can open the door to some of the most fantastic experiences you can imagine. Some herbs should be taken at specific times in order to maximize the benefit and some should not be used in combination with certain others. We'll go over some examples.
Herbs for dreams - take before bedHerbs to take before going to bed are often going to be things that will increase your brain's serotonin levels. This is because increased serotonin levels early in the night cause you to experience a "REM Rebound" which, in a nutshell, causes you to have very long vivid (and often lucid) dreams later in your sleep. Some supplements that are helpful to take before bed are:
- Calea Z.
- Starchy foods like bananas or potatoes
Herbs for dreams - take at night
Many lucid dreaming experts recommend waking up in the night and then going back to bed. This is a method known as WBTB (Wake Back To Bed) and it can be extremely effective. Waking up in the night also provides an opportune time to take a dream supplement. Unlike before bed, you do NOT want to increase serotonin at this point. Instead, you would like to take something that will boost ACh levels, dopamine levels, or even norepinephrine levels in the brain. Here are some herbs that you can take that will help you accomplish this:
- Alpha GPC
- Choline Bitartrate
Herbs for dreams -dos and don'ts
- If you will be waking up in the night, you should try to wake up after approximately 4.5 hours of sleep.
- Don't drink caffeine or alcohol before bed as both can inhibit dreaming.
- Don't mix any of the herbs from the "Take Before Bed" list with the ones on the "Take at Night" list. They will be much less effective if you do.
- Do keep a dream journal and write down your dream immediately after you wake up in the morning.