Despite being something that most of us do each night, dreams still remain somewhat of a mystery to science. It’s believed that dreams may be a byproduct of the brain encoding subconscious memories, or even that they are merely a form of “noise” caused by subconscious, deep-level processes during REM sleep. Dreaming has been found to have therapeutic benefits for some people with PTSD or anxiety, but dreams can be a source of stress for others. While their ultimate purpose remains unknown, one thing is clear: dreams are weird. Perhaps luckily, though, few people actually remember their dreams. However, new research claims taking a common supplement before bed may help individuals recall their dreams in the morning. What will this mean for the future of dream research?

Taking vitamin B6 before bed has been found to help with dream recall. That’s according to a new study published by the journal Perceptual and Motor Skills. Sleep scientists and psychologists from the University of Adelaide asked study participants to take 240 mg of vitamin B6 immediately before bed. By the end of the study, most of the participants were able to recall their dreams each morning after waking up.

Dr. Denholm Aspy, a University of Adelaide psychologist who conducted the study, says that this discovery could have a significant impact on the role dreams play in some people’s lives:

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. In order to have lucid dreams it is very important to first be able to recall dreams on a regular basis. This study suggests that vitamin B6 may be one way to help people have lucid dreams.

Here’s the thing I wonder, though: would you really want to remember every dream you have? I know I wouldn’t. Still, the possibility of more lucid dreaming should tempt some people to rush out and buy as much B6 as they can. Who wouldn’t want to have more control over their dreams?

Brett Tingley

Brett Tingley is a writer and musician from the mountains of Western North Carolina. Contact him at [email protected]

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