Eat Your Way To Lucid Dreams
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Eat Your Way To Lucid DreamsCharlie Morley shares dietary tips to help get you lucid in your dreams
I teach people lucid dreaming: the art of becoming conscious within their dreams. A lucid dream is one in which you think, Aha! I’m dreaming! while you’re still asleep. Once you become conscious within a dream, you can interact with and direct it at will, partner dancing with your unconscious mind and healing yourself while you sleep.
Lucid dreaming can be used to work with past trauma, practice energy work within your dreams and even to ask life changing questions to the wisdom of your unconscious mind.
My brand new Hay House video course explores how to do just that but what I wanted to share with you now is how you can start to have more vivid, deep and perhaps even lucid dreams simply by eating the right stuff. So let’s have a look at a few of these now and get ready to eat ourselves lucid!
The vitamin with the strongest effect on our dreams seems to be vitamin B6. A study from New York City College in the USA revealed ‘a significant difference in dream vividness, bizarreness, emotionality, and colour between those given vitamin B6 and those given a placebo.’ The study subjects were given 250mg of B6, which is quite a hit, so I’d recommend a smaller, 100-mg dose with a prebed snack for most people.
B6 converts amino acids such as tryptophan into serotonin, which leads to cortical arousal during periods of REM dreaming sleep. It’s this arousal of the brain which makes the dreams more vivid. B6 has also been linked to improved memory so it seems that this magic vitamin may help you remember those vivid dreams better too.
A range of other B vitamins, such as choline and B5, have also been linked to more vivid dreams, due to their role in making the REM neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, so a general vitamin B complex with a good dose of B6 should do the trick. Taking B6 supplements in excess of 1,000 mg/ day can have adverse effects, though, so go easy.
Do I have to take it as a supplement?
No – if you can get it from food sources, all the better. Whole grains, liver and meat, eggs, beans, nuts and bananas all contain vitamin B6. Healthy adults need just 1.3mg of vitamin B6 each day for normal functioning and this can be achieved through a balanced diet. Although some researchers believe that you need to take a supplement to get enough B6 to affect your dreams significantly, they obviously haven’t tried one of my B-vitamin bonanza super-green shakes.
Here is the recipe for you to try at home: 60 per cent raw hemp seed powder, 10 per cent wheatgrass powder, 10 per cent raw cacao powder, 10 per cent purple maca root powder, 10 per cent spirulina powder and a big pinch of turmeric, which gives a huge boost of B vitamins, amino acids, magnesium and zinc that gives the body all it needs to stay lucid. Mix with water or juice and have a big glass in the morning to stay lucid all day, or a late-night dose to stay lucid at night!
Dream expert Rebecca Turner advises a middle path. She recommends eating foods containing tryptophan (the amino acid converted by B6) around the same time you take your B6 supplement, a few hours before bed. Three of the most tryptophan-rich foods are chicken and turkey, soybeans and hard cheese. So there really is something to be said about cheese and dreams.
Calcium and magnesium
For many people, restful sleep and bountiful dreaming can be as simple as altering their diet to include calcium and magnesium-rich foods. Studies have shown that a deficiency in these minerals may lead to an inability to enter sleep smoothly and to stay asleep once there.
A study published in the European Neurology Journal reported that disturbances in sleep, especially the absence of REM and deep sleep, are often related to a calcium deficiency. Calcium helps the brain use tryptophan to manufacture the sleep-inducing substance melatonin and so the more calcium we have the more melatonin we can produce. So the traditional milk-before-bedtime seems to hold some weight – or at least it did, because although the calcium levels in unpasteurized milk are high, once the modern heat treatment of milk takes place much of this is lost.
The International Osteoporosis Foundation cites sardines and whitebait as two of the foods with the highest calcium levels, along with almonds, sesame seeds and hard cheeses like parmesan and cheddar.
This mineral plays an important role in hydration, muscle relaxation, energy production and, crucially, the deactivation of adrenaline. Magnesium is vital for the function of certain brain receptors which need to switch off before sleep, and without this process occurring we may remain tense, our thoughts racing as we lie in bed staring at the ceiling.
Research has shown magnesium can change people’s sleep patterns within days, and I use it regularly myself to unwind my body and mind when I’ve been training in martial arts till late in the evening.
Many people, be they meat-eaters or vegetarians, are short of magnesium simply because it’s found in such tiny doses in most foods nowadays, but if you eat enough dark leafy veggies, nuts and seeds (especially pumpkin seeds) and oily fish you’ll soon get your daily dose.
Those who prefer to take a supplement can often find magnesium and B vitamins in a combined tablet, which can be taken with a pre-bed snack. People with digestive issues may not absorb minerals so well and may instead prefer magnesium sprays, which are absorbed through the skin, or bathing in magnesium salts before bed.
Note: All of the vitamins and minerals mentioned above are safe in the correct doses, and are great for giving you more vivid dreams, but please be careful about getting into the habit of popping a pill to aid your lucid dream practice.
Eat like a northerner
My fiancée is from Yorkshire in the north of England, and in honour of the cultural heritage of that region she likes to call her midday meal ‘dinner’ and to eat her evening meal at 5 p.m. As a Londoner, I find this far too early to eat in the evening, but it does have one big advantage. Eating early is great for your dream practice.
The earlier you eat the easier it is for the body to be rested by the time you go to bed. If you drift off while your gut is still working on digesting your food, your body will be diverting energy to the gut that should be going to your brain to help power your dreams.
During the lucid dream retreats I run we just have soup and salad at 6 p.m., as a way to free up our bodies for the night of dreaming that lies ahead. Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns often don’t eat anything after midday, or if they do eat in the evening it’s usually something very light because from a Tibetan Buddhist point of view going to sleep on an empty stomach allows the internal energy to flow more freely through the subtle channels, which is seen as an aid to dream practice.
So there are a few little tips of how your diet can affect your dreams but for lucid dreaming nothing beats the practice of effective techniques. So if you really want to learn how to become conscious within your dreams and to harness the power of your full potential I invite you to try my brand new Hay house video course! This unique step by step video course gives you everything you need to learn how to lucid dream and use the 30 years you spend in bed to heal, manifest and grow!
Your dreams are waiting for you and they’re ready to dance…