What did you dream last night?

Written by Alfie Gleeson

A new study suggests vitamin B6 could help you remember.

Crystals of vitamin B6 in the polarizing microscope. Credit: Josef Reischig.

Researchers from the University of Adelaide (Adelaide, Australia) have discovered that vitamin B6 may help people remember their dreams when taken immediately before sleep. The results of the trial, published in Perceptual and Motor Skills, may have important implications for lucid dreaming, potentially making dream time productive.

The randomized, double-blind trial consisted of 100 participants taking either 240mg of vitamin B6 or a placebo just before they went to bed for five consecutive days. The participants had previously reported not being able to remember their dreams, but most of the B6 cohort reported an improvement in their recollection over the 5-day trial.

Author Denholm Aspy explains that the experiment is the first of its kind to demonstrate the effect on a large scale:

“Our results show that taking vitamin B6 improved people’s ability to recall dreams compared to a placebo. Vitamin B6 did not affect the vividness, bizarreness or color of their dreams, and did not affect other aspects of their sleep patterns. This is the first time that such 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,”

Remembering your dreams could have many potential benefits to your waking life. Strong recollection could lead to the ability to become lucid whilst dreaming. Controlling this ability could have many useful applications, as Aspy explains,

“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.”

Vitamin B6 occurs naturally in many common food stuffs from cereals to fruit and vegetables. But Aspyr is cautious about the long term effects of B6 and what role diet plays in its effect on dreams.

“Further research is needed to investigate whether the effects of vitamin B6 vary according to how much is obtained from the diet. If vitamin B6 is only effective for people with low dietary intake, its effects on dreaming may diminish with prolonged supplementation,”