I’m one of those people who dreams every night. I don’t know if it’s because I have an overactive imagination, or I drink too much caffeine, but every morning I wake up knowing my mind has been somewhere else for the duration of my sleep.
What’s really annoying, though, is waking up knowing you had an intriguing, vivid dream, and then feeling it slip away. It’s like trying to catch a snowflake — once it starts disappearing, it’s gone forever.
According to a new study, taking one particular vitamin could help you remember those dreams you keep losing. The research, published in the journal Perceptual and Motor Skills, found that taking high-dose vitamin B6 supplements before going to bed helped people remember their dreams.
Researchers at the University of Adelaide recruited 100 people, half of which took 240mg vitamin B6 pills for five consecutive days, while the other half took a placebo. It was a small study, but the results did show those who took the vitamins could better recall their dreams than the placebo group. (Neither group knew what they were taking.)
Participants said of their experiences that their dreams were “clearer and easier to remember,” and they didn’t “lose fragments as the day went on.” Another said “My dreams were more real, I couldn’t wait to go to bed and dream!”
The study’s author, Denholm Aspy from the University’s School of Psychology, added: “Vitamin B6 did not affect the vividness, bizarreness or colour of their dreams, and did not affect other aspects of their sleep patterns.”
Aspy added that this is the first time a study into the effects of vitamin B6 and other B vitamins on dreams has been carried out on “a large and diverse group of people.”
The average person spends around six years of their lives dreaming, according to Aspy, meaning if we work out how to control them, we could use them more productively.
“Lucid dreaming, where you know that you are dreaming while the dream is still happening, has many potential benefits,” he said. “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.”