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We often don't remember our dreams. We may feel like we’ve had a good dream or a bad dream, but we rarely remember the details. Dreams can offer insight into our psyche, so it might be helpful to be able to remember them. Luckily, new research can shed some light on dream recollection!
There is new research from the University of Adelaide in Australia that found a possible link between vitamin B6 and the ability to recall dreams. The study had 100 participants, divided into two groups. One group took a high dose of B6, roughly 240mg, immediately before bed for five consecutive days, while the control group received a placebo.
Dr. Aspy, the author of this study, concluded that "Vitamin B6 did not affect the vividness, bizarreness or color of the subjects’ dreams, and did not affect other aspects of their sleep patterns.” By the end of the study, however, participants reported improvements in how well they remembered their dreams. One subject, in fact, stated: "It seems as time went on my dreams were clearer and clearer and easier to remember. I also did not lose fragments as the day went on.”
Dr. Aspy added some fascinating physiological insight into dreams in the published study, stating that "The average person spends around six years of their lives dreaming. If we are able to become lucid and control our dreams, we can then use our dreaming time more productively. Lucid dreaming, where you know that you are dreaming while the dream is still happening, has many potential benefits. 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.”
He is confident that B6 will help people have lucid dreams and, thus, lead to the enhancements of therapeutic treatments.
Whole food sources of vitamin B6 include whole grains, cereals, legumes, fruit, vegetables, cheese, eggs, red meat, and fish. Further research is required to see if there’s a difference between taking B6 supplements and eating whole food sources of B6, as well as their effects on the clarity of dreams.
Another interesting factor to look at is whether or not there is a B6 deficiency before the supplementation, which can help determine if intake is sufficient already.
The topic of using nutrition to promote lucid dreaming and dream recollection is very new and very exciting. I’m sure we will see more about this in the near future.
Jenn Giles, R.D., C.S.S.D. is all about health and wellness. She has over 15 years’ experience, including a dual master’s degree in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from Columbia University. She is a Registered Dietitian (RD) and a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD). She supplements all of this with her spin instructor certification and USATriathlon Level I Coach Certification.
Jennifer is passionate about (actually, obsessed with) the sport of triathlon. She has been personally participating in triathlons since 2000 and running road races since 1992. She is a two-time Ironman finisher and has completed countless numerous marathons. She has been a member of Power Bar Team Elite since 2006 and competed as a member of the 2006 Aquaphor/Active.com Sponsored Athlete Team. She was ranked as USAT All American Honorable mention in 2006 and 2011. Jennifer does all of this along side of her husband, Patrick, who is an equally accomplished triathlete and runner. They try as hard as they can to do all of their training and racing together.
She will tell you, however, that her most important, most rewarding and most challenging job is as a mother of four. She knows first hand the challenges of maintaining optimal fitness, overall good health and achieving goals while raising a family - of which good nutrition is the cornerstone.
Most importantly, she knows how to motivate, inspire and challenge athletes based on their own abilities, strengths and everyday lifestyles. She believes there is an athlete in everyone - no matter what their abilities are – and if those abilities are manifold, then there is an even better athlete in there!