Dreams are really bloody weird, aren't they? You feel like it's real life, but it's not. Like, you think you've managed to finally pull Liam Hemsworth, but then you haven't. Actually, they can really be crushingly disappointing in such aforementioned instances.
Lucid dreams are even weirder because that's when you actually know you’re dreaming, and can manipulate the dream in one way or another. For example, in a piece for *Motherboard, *writer Abigail Moss spoke of her single experience of lucid dreaming in which she recognised she was in a dream, as she 'stood on a cliff face' before 'going on to control that dream by flying around'. Basically, it's the ultimate escapism.
The creators of the supplement Dream Leaf are passionate about lucid dreaming and want to ‘help people experience incredible lucid dreams through the use of synergistic herbs’ in order to ‘increase human consciousness through the medium of dreams’.
There are two different pills: the blue contains Mugwort and 5-HTP which you take just before sleeping and is supposed to promote a 'restful deep sleep'. The red, which you take four hours later if possible (although there's another option) contains Huperzine-A, Choline Bitartrate, and Alpha GPC to encourage lucid dreams.
They say it works by activating the neurotransmitters that are involved in consciousness while you dream which creates the perfect environment for lucid dreaming.
If I'm honest it seems kind of weird to take supplements to try and control your sleep. A while back I spoke to Ian Wallace, a psychologist and dream expert, about lucid dreaming and he told me that everyone will lucid dream for at least five seconds on two occasions when they sleep, and that you can actually teach yourself to do it.
‘When you go to sleep, you go through a phase called the hypnogogic phase. This is when you’re trying to sleep with stuff going through your mind and then an un-commanded image will come in to your mind - something you weren’t thinking of at all. That’s the point at which you’re falling asleep. So, when that comes in to your mind, it’s very good to play around with it. You might only be able to hold it for a few seconds before your mind gets busy again, but in those three or four seconds you will be lucid dreaming. The more that you do that, it will start to be a bit more natural.’
In other words, if you want to have more lucid dreams, it's something you can learn rather than having to rely on supplements.
Abigail interviewed Ian Wallace for her piece as well, and he wasn’t impressed by the pills, saying that ‘I’m really challenged by anyone who takes anything to alter their brain chemistry,’ he said. ‘Because the brain is a massively complex system and anything you take has knock-on effects. If you’re taking any kind of medication, using hydroxytryptophan would be a very bad idea. And one of the problems is [that] by using these kinds of supplements, it can prevent you from lucid dreaming naturally.’
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.