Top Lucid Dreaming Supplements
There are many lucid dreaming herbs and supplements out there for the average seeker. We, at Livin' Lucid Dreams, value refinement and prefer to only discuss the best quality and top things that have been thoroughly tested and scientifically backed to improve REM sleep and lucidity. Remember before taking any supplement, to do your research on the effects, side-effects, drug reactions, and any way it may effect your physiology.
There are basically three types of supplements that fit into this category.
1. Naturally Occuring Reversible Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors: Galantamine, Huperzine A
2. Cholinergic Nootropics: Alpha GPC, CDP Choline (Citicoline), Centrophenoxine
3. Racetam: Piracetam
All of these supplements in some way have a mechanism related to the creation and function of Acetylcholine.
What Is Acetylcholine
Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that motor neurons of the nervous system release in order to activate muscles. In the brain, acetylcholine functions as a neurotransmitter and as a neuromodulator. The brain contains various cholinergic areas, each with distinct functions that participate in arousal, attention, memory and motivation.
Acetylcholine is also used as a neurotransmitter in the autonomic nervous system, both as an internal transmitter for the sympathetic nervous system and as the final product released by the parasympathetic nervous system.
How Acetylcholine Relates To Lucid Dreaming
Lucid dreaming occurs in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. This sleep state has physiological similarities to the waking state, including rapid, low-voltage desynchronized brain waves.
Electrochemical activity regulating REM seems to originate in the brain stem and is characterized most notably by an abundance of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, combined with a nearly complete absence of REM-Off monoamine neurotransmitters histamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.
So the activation of the brain stem, which regulates the activity of REM sleep is directly stimulated by Acetlycholine. More Acetylcholine means a greater likihood of inducing and prolonging REM sleep. The activation of the brain through acetylcholine also has effects on areas which improve mental cognition and focus. This in turn helps prompt lucidity within dreams.
Naturally Occuring Reversible Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors
Galantamine is an alkaloid that is obtained synthetically or from naturally occuring bulbs and flowers. Specifically, we speak of and reference the naturally occurring sesquiterpene from Caucasian snowdrop, Voronov's snowdrop, and some other members of the family Amaryllidaceae such as daffodil, snowflake, and Lycoris including most famously, the red spider lily.
Galantamine acts as a reversible acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor. This means its primary effect is to block the normal breakdown of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, which studies have shown is linked to increased Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep activity and lucidity.
Huperzine A is also a naturally occurring sesquiterpene alkaloid compound, found in firmoss Huperzia serrata and in varying quantities in other Huperzia species.
This supplement also acts as a reversible acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor. So it also primarily blocks the normal breakdown of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. Studies have shown that Huperzine A is a more potent AChE inhibitor than Galantamine.
Huperzine A has also been shown to increase the levels of REM sleep by as much as 30 percent. We recommend taking this about 30 minutes or so before sleep. There has been research that shows tolerance can build for Huperzine A, so it may be best to not use this more than a few times per week.
In essence, both of these supplements block the re-uptake of acetylcholine which in turn helps increase REM sleep and mental cognition.
A cholinergic nootropic is any nootropic or supplement that produces, mimics, or releases the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
Choline is a vitamin-like essential nutrient and precursor of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is synthesized from choline, so taking choline or derivitives will help in the formation of Acetylcholine, which can in turn can help increase REM sleep activity, memory formation, recall, and lucidity.
The top cholinergic nootropics for lucid dreaming are Alpha GPC, CDP Choline (Citicoline), and Centrophenoxine.
There are many resources that recommend Lecithin or Choline Bitartrate for choline supplementation. These are the cheapest and most widely available choline supplements, found in most supermarkets and drug stores. Unfortunately, they are also the least potent and least effective.
Even though these supplements contain a high percentage of choline by weight, the choline they deliver appears to be less effective than that of Alpha GPC, CDP Choline, or centrophenoxine. Lecithin/Choline Bitartrate supplements prevent choline deficiency but provide very little in terms of nootropic benefit.
Alpha GPC, also known as L-Alpha glycerylphosphorylcholine or choline alfoscerate, is a natural nootropic that works well on its own and in combination with other nootropics. It's naturally present in the body in small amounts.
An intermediate in phospholipid metabolism, Alpha GPC works primarily by delivering essential choline to the brain. The additional choline made available by Alpha GPC is at the core of its nootropic capabilities . By making additional choline available to the brain, Alpha GPC stimulates the production of acetylcholine.
CDP Choline (Citicoline)
CDP Choline, also known as citicoline or cytidine diphosphate choline, is a powerful nootropic supplement known for its ability to enhance memory and protect the brain against memory loss.
CDP choline can also increase focus, mental energy, and provide better clarity of thought, all of which are essential for lucid dreaming.
Once absorped, CDP choline splits into choline and cytidine and disperses throughout the body, crossing the blood-brain barrier and entering the central nervous system. The released choline acts as a cholinergic, increasing levels of choline in the brain thus increasing acetylcholine.
Centrophenoxine is a compound of PCPA (paracholrphenoxyacetic) and a synthetic version of DMAE. It technically isn't a source of choline but it does have the ability to increase acetylcholine levels in the synaptic vesicles in the brain, pairing well with cholinergic nootropics.
Centrophenoxine increases the synthesis of acetylcholine making it great for pairing with racetams or nootropics which draw on choline reserves.
The only racetam we would recommend is Piracetam. Racetam class nootropics like piracetam are considered acetylcholine agonists, compounds that increase the production and release of acetylcholine by stimulating the appropriate neurotransmitter receptor sites.
Piracetam's mechanism of action is related to how it increases the activity of acetylcholine. It basically makes the transfer of acetylcholine more effective. This is great for pairing with other choline nootropics. Do your research on Piracetam, some have experienced unpleasant side-effects.
Melatonin & Acetly-L-Carnitine
Melatonin is a great neurochemical that needs no introduction for its role in sleep and brain health. Studies have shown that Melatonin supplementation have been associated with increased periods of REM sleep.
Acetly-L-Carnitine or ALCAR, is a form of the micronutrient L-carnitine, which is a derivative of the amino acid lysine and is naturally produced in the body. ALCAR’s benefit here is in how it involves the acetyl groups, which are thought to provide the basis for the synthesis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
When taking these lucid dreaming supplements we recommend you only do them a few times per week, especially if stacking or compounding these supplements. This will help prevent tolerance build up and any side effects. Remember to do your research when compunding supplements. You may not need as much as prescribed because of their synergistic effect.
If you can, take them 30 minutes before bed on days that you will not have to wake up early or have something to do. Allowing time for morning lie-ins helps you remember and have lucid dreams. The last two hours of sleep have the longest periods of REM sleep (which is the sleep period you dream in).
For example, if you have the weekends off, try taking these supplements every Friday and Saturday night. That way you can ensure you get quality sleep and time to use these supplements to their full potential.
With that, these are the top supplements that will not only keep your brain functioning well but also keep you Livin' Lucid Dreams ...