Dreams are one of the most mysterious parts of our consciousness. They occur rather frequently, but usually we forget them as soon as we wake up. Sometimes we do not even know that we are dreaming, while we are doing the most incredible activities in the dreams.
However, some people dream more vivid, colourful dreams and some of them are even able to control them knowing that they are dreaming. This phenomenon, called lucid dreaming, is drawing public attention for quite some time and now researchers at the University of Adelaide are setting out to look for ways to enhance dreaming experience.
Question scientists are about to tackle is whether vitamin B can supercharge dreaming. The psychology student, Denholm Aspy, is studying various aspects of dreaming for his PhD project. With his research he hopes to uncover how people can gain more control over their dreams. It is believed that vitamin B is one of the possible answers to that question.
Author of the study noted: “early research suggests that taking vitamin B6 may be able to make dreams more vivid, colourful, emotional and bizarre, and other B vitamins may also help people to remember their dreams or have lucid dreams (dreams where people are aware they are dreaming, while they are dreaming)”.
There have been studies that were looking at the effect of the vitamin B6 and dreaming. However, now this young scientist is calling for participants to assist in this new study, because he is aiming to compare the effects of vitamin B6 with other B vitamins in a large and diverse group of people.
Aspy is hoping that by studying effects of vitamin B on dreaming he may get to know some additional information about lucid dreaming. He says that in order to be able to experience lucid dreaming at first one has to be able to recall dreams on regular basis. And this is the problem this research is trying to tackle, since most of our dreams we forget as soon as we wake up – sometimes we do not even know we had any kind of dream.
Part of this new research focuses on techniques designed to help people have more lucid dreams. Aspy hopes that vitamin B will not only help participants of the study to have more vivid, colourful and exciting dreams, but will also help them to remember them better. This, according to the author of the study, is one step towards lucid dreaming. People want to be able to lucid dream whenever they want in order to make their dreams more exciting by doing things that are not possible in real life – flying, performing magic or music. Nothing is impossible. But scientist says it is much more than just another opportunity to have fun.
Aspy notes that an average person spends around five years of his life dreaming. Because this is such a tremendous amount of time, controlling it would not be just entertaining, but also rather useful. We could actually use our dreams somehow productively.
Research conducted before this suggested that lucid dreaming may have a number of benefits, such as overcoming nightmares, treating phobias, creative problem solving, refining motor skills and even helping with rehabilitation from physical trauma. There are many more uses for lucid dreams that each of you now reading the article may think of – it would help to boost creativity, test ideas, and know yourself better. Although most us would probably spend majority of this time flying and visiting places from our favourite fiction books.
Getting back to this research, Aspy already has methodology set up for coming experiments. Now he is calling for volunteers who would be willing to participate in this study. It will take 10 days only and will not require a lot of efforts from those who agree to participate. Each person will be provided with capsule that either contain vitamin B6, a vitamin B-Complex preparation (with numerous B vitamins) or a placebo.
Every morning participants will have to fill out a brief questionnaire. Later scientists will analyse the answers and will search for correlation between dreaming style and ability to recall dreams and vitamins taken. Hopefully, findings of this research will eventually lead to effective techniques that will help us to experience dreaming more vividly and to shape them however we want.
Source: University of Adelaide