According to a recent study in the journal Perceptual Motor Skills, Vitamin B6 may improve a person’s ability to remember their dreams. The findings could have a major impact on how people can benefit from being able to recall what they dreamed about the previous night.
“The average person spends around six years of their lives dreaming,” said Dr. Denholm Aspy, the lead author of the study. “If we are able to become lucid and control our dreams, we can then use our dreaming time more productively.”
Dr. Aspy added that there are many benefits of “lucid dreaming” (a state where a person knows he or she is dreaming while the dream is occurring). For example, it could help people deal with phobias, improve their problem-solving skills, overcome nightmares, and possibly even rehabilitate from an injury.
Australian researchers administered capsules containing 240mg of vitamin B6 to study participants for five days. Some of the participants, who had previously reported that they typically did not remember their dreams, took the capsules shortly before they went to bed. Others received a placebo. According to the results –
The people who took vitamin B6 were able to remember what they dreamed about much better and in greater detail than those who took the placebo.
In addition, the researchers found that the vitamin did not have any effect on the participants’ sleep patterns. It also did not affect any aspect of the dreams.
Other Benefits of Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6, along with other B vitamins (including B1, B2, B3, B9, and B12), is commonly found in many different types of food. Fruits, nuts, and vegetables are some of the best sources. These vitamins are extremely important for not only the production of energy, but also for the proper functioning of the brain. A deficiency in any one of these could have serious consequences for the body.
Specifically, vitamin B6 plays a role in regulating the amount of an amino acid known as homocysteine in the bloodstream. This, in turn, could help reduce the risk of suffering a stroke or a heart attack. Vitamin B6 also helps the brain produce neurotransmitters. These are chemicals that help different nerve cells communicate with each other. They are not only critical to proper development of the brain, they also help the body produce hormones that affect sleep cycles and mood.
Further Research is Warranted
So, if you take Vitamin B6 before bed, will you be able to remember all of your dreams? Possibly.
While the findings of the study are encouraging, Dr. Aspy said more research would be needed in order to determine the different factors that could affect how vitamin B6 will help people remember their dreams. For example, researchers will need to examine if the effects of the vitamin will vary depending on how much B6 people receive from their diet.
Further investigation will also need to be performed to determine whether or not prolonged supplementation of vitamin B6 would diminish its effect on dream recall.