Dreams & Drugs
Substances like drugs, herbs and foods affect our dreams. During REM sleep protein-synthesis is highly active, so your body needs high levels of amino acids. The neurotransmitter in use during REM is Acetylcholine. It is made from the B-vitamin Choline and the vitamin B-5.
But there are more vitamins that can make us dream more. The body can synthesis the B-vitamin Choline. But in order to do that it needs vitamin B-12, Folic acid (B-9), the amino acids Methionine and Serine. Vitamins B-12 plays a role in the activation of amino acids during protein formation. It has also the ability to increase the production of Acetylcholine and normalize neurotransmissions in the brain.
Vitamin C helps metabolizing several amino acids and hormones. It is also important to have adequate levels of amino acids. A few important ones are Phenylalanine, Tyrosine, Methionine,Cysteine, Serine and Tryptophan.
Vitamin B-6 is another important vitamin. It is a co-enzyme, which participates in over 60 enzymatic reactions involved in the metabolism of amino acids. It is involved in the production of several body proteins and neurotransmitters. It is particularly indispensable to the action of amino acid neurotransmitters, like Serotonin, Dopamine, Melatonin, and Norepinephrine, which effect brain function. It is also involved in the metabolism of Selenium, Calcium, and Magnesium.
Using Tobacco, Alcohol or Coffee prohibits the absorption of necessary vitamins and amino acids. Depressants suppress REM sleep, one is Alcohol, but taken in right doses can create a rebound effect so that you wake up remembering many vivid dreams. And anti-depressants may increase dream recall. Caffeine will make you sleep lighter, will increase your dream recall and maybe even give you a lucid dream.
DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol) is a very important B-vitamin. It flows easily through the brain's blood barrier, where it is converted into Choline. During REM, Choline is added the coenzyme A (Vitamin B-5), and we have Acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter in use during REM.
5-HTP (5-Hydroxy-TryptoPhan) is a Serotonin precursor that also flows quite easy through the brain's blood barrier. It is a good alternative to Melatonin.
The amino acid Tryptophan can be metabolized into Serotonin and Niacin (B-3). Vitamin B-6 promotes this conversion. Taking Niacin or Nicotine patches will increase the Serotonin production. The more Niacin you take, the more Serotonin is produced and more Melatonin is metabolized. Calcium and Magnesium promotes Serotonin production as well. Zinc is in every cell of the body and is a part of over 200 enzymes, so Zinc supplements may increase REM-sleep, too.
Melatonin is a neurotransmitter/hormone that is only active during sleep. It is being metabolized when you fall asleep from Serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is being metabolized from the amino acid Tryptophan. Melatonin increases non-REM sleep and makes it easier for you to fall asleep. But it has also an interesting rebound effect that gives more frequent and vivid dreams. The vividness might even give you a lucid dream.
Hasjiesj - There are some people who like to smoke some weed or hasjiesj and then go to bed stoned. It does influence the dream state very heavy. Hasjiesj has the tendency of relaxing you, and also has a tendency to make emotions stronger. While dreaming this results in very real-feeling dreams. Thus, hasjiesj makes the dream stronger, more deep. Problem is, a nightmare will seem more real too. Also, it seems to make it more difficult to dream lucid.
Warning: Some of the drugs and herbs can be addictive, and be poisonous if taken in too large doses. it advised not to use them at all. and they are present here only for information.
thanks to Lars Faq.
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