If you’ve had one too many dreamless nights lately—or maybe you just tend to forget them the instant you wake up—there might be a way to start remembering the wild goings-on during your sleeping mind’s slumber: popping some vitamin B6.
In a study published in the journal Perceptual and Motor Skills, 100 healthy Australians with a mean age of 27.5 (all were between the ages of 18 and 40) participated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation for which they took 240 milligrams of vitamin B6, a placebo, or a mix of B vitamins right before getting some shut-eye for five consecutive nights. They then logged their dreams when they woke up each morning. According to the study authors, “many” participants often didn’t remember their dreams at the beginning of the experiment, but by the end, that changed for those who had taken B6. Though the vitamin had no effect on the “vividness, bizarreness, or color” of participants’ dreams, it did impact their memory of them.
“Our results show that taking vitamin B6 improved people’s ability to recall dreams compared to a placebo.” —Study co-author Dr. Denholm Aspy
“Our results show that taking vitamin B6 improved people’s ability to recall dreams compared to a placebo,” study co-author Denholm Aspy, PhD, says in a press release.
The B6 participants said their dreams became clearer and more real and that memory of them didn’t fade throughout the day. Dr. Aspy says these results suggest that B6 might allow people to experience more lucid dreams—during which you know you’re dreaming and can control what’s happening—which might offer gifts in the form of increased mental health.
“Lucid dreaming has many potential benefits,” Dr. Aspy explains. “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.”
Further research is needed to determine whether people can get the dreamy effects of vitamin B6 through their diet—rather than just via supplements—by eating foods like legumes, bananas, avocados, spinach, and potatoes. Since B6 also supports adrenal function, keeps your stress levels in check, and ensures your nervous system is healthy, it’s definitely worth incorporating into your diet. And, hey, maybe it’ll bolster your chances of being able to recount your mind-boggling dreams to friends.
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