Electric Dreams

DARE to your Enhance your Lucid Dreaming:
Part 1: The Holy Grail of the Dreamphiles

By Marc VanDeKeere

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VanDeKeere, Marc (2002 Jan). DARE to your Enhance your Lucid Dreaming:
Part 1: The Holy Grail of the Dreamphiles. Electric Dreams 9(1).


This is your Dream

DARE to your Enhance your Lucid Dreaming:
Part 1: The Holy Grail of the Dreamphiles


Just Say Nicoderm!

After prolonged denial and unabashed procrastination, I finally quit smoking for good in September 2001. I am pleased to say that I am a non-smoker and also happy to report that I have discovered some insight along the way. While using the nicotine patch to curb the urge, I noticed some remarkable effects upon my dreaming. While wearing the patch to bed, my dreaming was extremely intensified.

Normally, I have decent recall if I awaken gently and allow the dream fragments to surface and form a recollection of the previous night's adventures. On average, I remember two or three dreams per night with about ten to twenty of minutes of remembered time in the dreaming realm. While wearing the patch, I was remembering seven, eight and nine dreams with literally hours worth of elapsed experience. The entire night was experienced as one super long dream sequence with changing plotlines, scenes and characters. My recall was so complete that it literally felt as if I had been conscious the whole night. However, the dreams were not lucid ones. They were just massively intensified couple with some massively enhanced recall.

After experiencing this dreaming turbo-boost, I tried to make sense of how this could be happening. More importantly, I wanted to find a way to recreate these effects without becoming dependent on a nicotine patch. Aside from being expensive at thirty-seven dollars for a box of fourteen patches with twenty-one milligram potency, nicotine like caffeine is not a vitamin. It is a drug that should not be regularly added to your system. By finding some kind of cause and effect, I hoped to find a more natural substitute. My guess was that the dreaming process was being energized by the added stimulation of nicotine. This stimulatory effect increases the circulation and this boost may serve as a catalyst for dream enhancement.

Desperately Seeking Stimulants?

Upon further examination, this theory began to make even more sense. I have heard from people who take extracts of cayenne pepper before bed to intensify their dreams. Along the same lines, a friend of mine swears that eating at Outback Steakhouse is the key to having powerfully vivid dreams. Having a large, spicy meal before bed could create the same effect but on a smaller scale. I have heard from dreamers who report that other stimulants like ginseng and caffeine also boost the dreaming process. Personally, I have tried taking supplements of all of these with little noticeable changes in my dreams. So why does the nicotine give such a turbo-dream boost?

The secret may be hiding in the method of transmission used by the patch. It is time-released delivering a constant release of the stimulant. When taking supplements, I had always ingested them before bed so my body may have absorbed the active ingredients too early. Since most dreams occur after several hours of sleep and dreaming is most prominent during the early morning hours, this delay between ingestion and actual dream action could have hindered the results from my previous experiments. It would make more sense to time the ingestion to be in sync with the target dreaming time after several hours or early morning. Ideally, a time-released supplement would do the trick, but believe it or not I could not find a extract of cayenne pepper in time-release form.

Searching for the Holy Grail - The Entire Universe in a Grain of Salt?

Maybe I should write the manufacturer about my needs and my dilemma. Seriously though, if there is a way to boost my dreaming even to a fraction of the intensity that I experienced wearing the patch, I would be ready to try just about anything. I would eat salted bananas if that were required. Don't laugh! I tried it after reading an excellent book, "The Dreaming Universe" by Fred Alan Wolfe. In this book, the author points out that potassium and sodium play crucial chemical roles in the dreaming process. Not one to overlook any possible advantages, I salted up a banana that night and munched it down. I grimaced on the outside but was inwardly excited as I eagerly anticipated some nocturnal magic.

After taking my dream medicine, I fell asleep and had a incredibly intense lucid dream. I woke up filled with excitement even more than I would after any lucid dream. I thought I had found the Holy Grail of lucid dreaming! Who would have known it was salted bananas? Finally the key to open access to the lucid dreaming realm Unfortunately, four days and four salted banana nights later, I could not repeat the initial magic. I was forced to chalk it up to a placebo effect, but in any case, it was still good for one lucid dream. While this was an amusing digression, I hope, it actually ties back in with the previous concept of target timing. I had tested this salted banana idea before going to bed. So once again, the ingestion was not targeted to coincide with most active dreaming time. As a result, it may be grounds for some further testing. Pass the salt, would you?

Oops, I Could Have Had a B-6?

Let's get back to the matter at hand, the prospect of enhancing the dreaming process. I believe that we can enhance our dreams by adding the right ingredients. If you barely have any gas in your car, you cannot expect it to travel cross-country. However, with a full tank you may actually arrive wherever you are intended to go. Along the same lines, the dreaming process may be augmented with certain vitamins, minerals and other supplements. Taking some dream supplements may be a smart way to enhance the dreaming process and maybe even maximize the odds of successfully inducing a lucid dream. Normally, I take several nightly supplements for dream enhancement. I usually take a Lecithin supplement (great source of choline), some B vitamins (B-6, B-12, and B-Complex), potassium (occasionally) and recently I have added some Blue / Green Algae for good measure.

I previously reported on the effects I experienced while taking Blue / Green Algae supplements. For more information on this experiment, you can check out the Blue / Green Algae article in the archives. In light of the turbo dreaming effects I experienced while wearing the nicotine patch, I am going back to the bedroom laboratory to test a wide variety of supplements in hopes of finding the perfect combination of natural dreaming supplements. The list of would-be helpers on the testing block will include combinations of the following: Ginseng, Kava Kava, Cayenne Pepper, Melatonin, St.Johnís Wort and Calea Zacatechichi (a dreaming herb). If you know of any other supplements that you would like to test, please feel free to email me and I will add it to the list.

Lucid Dreaming Minds Want to Know!

I will set up some interactive forms at The Dream Initiative, http://come.to/dreamresearch, to make this a group project. Everyone is invited to get involved. Grab your disposable income, even if it is the money from your weekly bottle returns, and head out to the health food store because there is going to be a supplement-testing party tonight. It will last to the wee morning hours so pop a few caps, put on your dreaming caps and report back to me with your results. I will set up a page at the TDI site to handle the feedback and reports. You can email me or use the forms to report your results or lack thereof. Remember that no noticeable results should still be reported as such! We need to hear all the feedback we can gather, whether it is good, bad or indifferent. We are interested in developing a well-rounded experiential database. As the experiences are reported and collected, I will post the feedback and results at the site so we all can learn from this supplemental experimentation. If you do not want your name listed publicly at the TDI site or anywhere else, please be sure to mark "anonymous" on your form or let it be clearly known in your emails.

Bring me your lucid enlightened masses! This is your chance to join in on some light-hearted dreaming research. Your experiences are valuable so please do share them and get involved. If you know of anyone interested in participating, please pass along this information and forward our open invitation to get involved. We are looking for a few good dreamers. Are you interested? If so, just check out the site, and even if you are not interested in direct involvement, we will not hold it against you. Feel free to check out the reports and learn from the other dreamers who eagerly salt their bananas with a smile.
Bon Apetit!


Marc VanDeKeere

COMING SOON: This is your Dream on Supplements- Part 2:
This follow-up article will methodically outline my results (and possibly yours, if you get involved) with a number of supplements. This project will be an ongoing group experiment, so you can jump in at any time. Be sure to check the TDI site in the future as we gather some information.