Vitamin B might be the answer to remembering your dreams

Sep 25, 2015 at 2:19 p.m. ET

Remember that time you rode a unicorn down a valley, only it wasn't a unicorn, but a beautiful winged potato named Larry and he bought you a pretzel? No? Maybe that's because you're not getting enough vitamin B in your diet. A University of Adelaide student researcher is hoping to prove that an increase of the vitamin can lead to more lucid and colourful dreams.

University of Adelaide psychology student Denholm Aspy is seeking 150 volunteers for a study into the many aspects of dreams. According to Aspy, early research has indicated that taking certain vitamins, such as B6, can enhance dreaming by making dreams "more vivid, colourful, emotional and bizarre".

As part of his research, Aspy will give the study participants capsules of B6, vitamin B complex and placebos before they sleep. Once they wake from their dreaming, the participants will be asked to answer a questionnaire that Aspy hopes will offer insights on the function of B vitamins in the dreaming process.

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In particular, Aspy believes that a link may be found between vitamin B and more lucid dreams — dreams within which the dreamer is an active participant and has some control over what happens in the dream — but also a person's ability to recall their dreams.

And while remembering your adventures with Larry the potato may be rewarding enough on its own, there seem to be potential health benefits to lucid dreaming as well. According to Aspy's research, lucid dreams — and the ability to recall them — may be useful for treating phobias, nightmares and even physical trauma, as well as refining problem solving and motor skills.

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"The average person spends about five years of their lives dreaming," he said. If that can be tapped into and used, there could be great health potential there.

As a longtime participant in bizarre dreams — no, really, one time I dreamt that my baby turned into a shopping cockroach — I am fascinated by what this study will come up with. In the meantime, since vitamin B has all kinds of health benefits anyway — vitamin B6, for example, allows the body to use and store energy from protein and carbohydrates and to form haemoglobin — I might just up my intake of foods that are rich in it: pork, poultry, fish, bread, whole cereals, eggs, soya beans, peanuts, milk and potatoes. I'll catch you on the flipside, Larry.