MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: There are many anecdotal reports of vitamin B6 being used to enhance dream recall, and poor dream has sometimes been considered a possible sign of vitamin B6 deficiency by some clinicians. However, until now there was only a single study that investigated this scientifically. This was a small pilot study in 2002 that included only 12 participants. My new study now provides the strongest evidence to date that vitamin B6 does in fact enhance dream recall. The double-blind placebo-controlled study included 100 participants from around Australia who took either Vitamin B6, a B vitamin complex (with a range of other B vitamins as well), or placebo directly before bed for five days. Participants recorded their dream recall using a logbook containing a range of measures each morning. Results showed the people who took B6 recalled around 64% more content from their dreams on average compared to the placebo group, and that this had no negative impact on sleep quality.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Vitamin B6 appears to be an effective and fairly safe way to enhance dream recall and may also be helpful for having lucid dreams, which is the main reason why I wanted to conduct this study. Lucid dreams are those in which you know that you are dreaming while the dream is still happening, and 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. 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, especially if combined with techniques designed to induce these lucid dreams such as those that I have studied in my previous research.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: The next step for me is to investigate the use of Vitamin B6 for inducing lucid dreams by combining it with lucid dreaming techniques. If vitamin B6 proves to be effective for lucid dream induction, this could open up a whole new research field into the many potential benefits and applications of lucid dreaming.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: Although vitamin B6 supplaments are generally considered quite safe, they can in rare cases interact with some medications, and it’s not advisable to take very high doses of vitamin B6 for prolonged periods. It’s always a good idea to speak to a doctor if you have any concerns about taking a new supplement, espeically if you have existing medical conditions or are taking other medications.
Interested readers can find out more about Dr Aspy’s work, including new lucid dreaming studies and his upcoming lucid dreaming workshops, via his website: www.luciddreamingaustralia.com
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Denholm J. Aspy, Natasha A. Madden, Paul Delfabbro. Effects of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) and a B Complex Preparation on Dreaming and Sleep. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 2018; 003151251877032 DOI: 10.1177/0031512518770326
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