8 Best Nootropics For Lucid Dreaming In 2023

Written on January 19, 2023 by | Reviewed by William Gallagher, MNeuroSci

In this article, I'll take a closer at the 8 best nootropics for lucid dreaming. I'll also cover the potential risks and side effects you may run into and the benefits you can expect.

Lucid dreaming is an amazing skill that allows us to explore our dreams with greater awareness and control.

While there are many techniques for inducing lucid dreams, nootropics can be a great way to give your dream recall and lucidity a boost. Today I will examine the 8 best nootropics for lucid dreaming and how they work.

So let's dive in and explore these powerful dream enhancers, shall we?

The best nootropics for lucid dreaming, according to scientific evidence, are:

  • Vyvamind
  • Bacopa Monnieri
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
  • L-Theanine
  • Citicoline (CDP Choline)
  • Alpha GPC
  • 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
  • L-Tryptophan

1. Vyvamind

Vyvamind is a nootropic blend. This means it’s a combination of several different nootropics. It contains 6 main nootropic ingredients:

  • Vitamin B6 – 2.5 mg.
  • Vitamin B12 – 50 mcg.
  • L-Tyrosine – 300 mg.
  • Citicoline – 200 mg.
  • L-Theanine – 150 mg.
  • Caffeine Anhydrous – 75 mg.

Citicoline and Vitamin B are essential for lucid dreaming as they help improve dream recall and enhance REM sleep. REM sleep is the deepest stage of sleep and is when lucid dreams often occur [1]Baird, Benjamin, et al. “Lucid Dreaming Occurs in Activated Rapid Eye Movement Sleep, Not a Mixture of Sleep and Wakefulness.” Sleep, vol. 45, no. 4, 2022, https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsab294..

The other compounds in the blend help create a more focused and alert mental state, making it easier to recognize dream signs and stay aware even in a dream. Because Vyvamind contains Caffeine Anhydrous, it's important to take it in the morning or early afternoon and not too close to bedtime.

That way, you'll reap the cognitive benefits of caffeine while awake and enjoy the dream-enhancing effects while asleep. It's also important to note that since Vyvamind contains L-Theanine, it can both counteract and buffer the side effects of caffeine, such as headaches, jitters, or overstimulation - allowing for a peaceful and uninterrupted sleep [2]

Haskell, Crystal F et al. “The effects of L-theanine, caffeine and their combination on cognition and mood.” Biological psychology vol. 77,2 (2008): 113-22. doi:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2007.09.008
.

Vyvamind Pros

  • Contains 6 all-natural nootropic ingredients
  • Helps to improve dream recall
  • Enhances REM sleep
  • Provides cognitive benefits while awake
  • Buffer the side effects of caffeine
  • Ideal for people on a budget

Vyvamind Cons

  • Shipping times can be long (up to 3 weeks)

Vyvamind in Summary

Vyvamind is a great nootropic blend for people looking for a budget-friendly way to enhance their lucid dreaming. It contains 6 natural nootropic ingredients that can help improve dream recall and enhance REM sleep, allowing you to become more aware of your dreams. Plus, it provides cognitive benefits while awake, which can be helpful during the day.

2. Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri is an adaptogenic herb traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to improve cognitive functioning and reduce stress. It has also been shown to have antidopaminergic and serotonergic effects [3]Rauf, Khalid et al. “A Bacoside containing Bacopa monnieri extract reduces both morphine hyperactivity plus the elevated striatal dopamine and serotonin turnover.” Phytotherapy research : PTR … Learn more.

One proposed mechanism for inducing lucid dreams involves increasing acetylcholine activity within the brain, particularly in the prefrontal cortex (PFC).

Bacopa Monnieri stimulates choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), a key enzyme responsible for synthesizing acetylcholine (ACh) while inhibiting AChE, thus increasing levels of acetylcholine without the side effects associated with many other AChE inhibitors [4]Aguiar, Sebastian, and Thomas Borowski. “Neuropharmacological review of the nootropic herb Bacopa monnieri.” Rejuvenation research vol. 16,4 (2013): 313-26. doi:10.1089/rej.2013.1431.

This suggests that Bacopa Monnieri may be beneficial for lucid dreaming, as higher levels of ACh can increase dream awareness and clarity.

Bacopa Monnieri Pros

  • Supports cognitive functioning
  • Reduces stress levels
  • Increases acetylcholine activity in the brain
  • Helps to improve dream recall

Bacopa Monnieri Cons

  • It can take a few weeks to feel the full effects

Bacopa Monnieri in Summary

Bacopa Monnieri is an adaptogenic herb traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to reduce stress levels and support cognitive functioning. It can also be beneficial for lucid dreaming, as it increases acetylcholine activity in the brain, which can help increase dream awareness and clarity.

3. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Vitamin B6 is an essential nutrient for many bodily functions, including the production of melatonin and serotonin, two hormones that help regulate sleep cycles. It can also play a role in improving dream recall and lucidity.

A double-blind, placebo-controlled study examined the effect of Vitamin B6 on dream vividness and recall. 12 college students were recruited for the study. Each participant was given either 100 mg or 250 mg of B6 or a placebo before bedtime for five consecutive days [5]Ebben, Matthew et al. “Effects of pyridoxine on dreaming: a preliminary study.” Perceptual and motor skills vol. 94,1 (2002): 135-40. doi:10.2466/pms.2002.94.1.135.

There was a two-day wash-out period between each treatment condition, which was counterbalanced to account for any potential order effects. Results showed that compared to the placebo, the 250 mg dose of B6 significantly increased dream salience scores over the first three days of treatment.

The dream salience composite score included vividness, bizarreness, emotionality, and color, indicating that Vitamin B6 may enhance these aspects of dreaming. This study shows that Vitamin B6 could be an effective nootropic supplement to improve dream quality and recall.

Vitamin B6 Pros

  • All-natural nootropic supplement
  • Easy to find and inexpensive
  • Improves dream vividness and recall

Vitamin B6 Cons

  • Not as powerful as some other nootropic supplements for lucid dreaming

Vitamin B6 in Summary

Vitamin B6 is an essential nutrient for many bodily functions, including the production of melatonin and serotonin. A double-blind study has shown that Vitamin B6 can improve dream vividness and recall. It is a natural nootropic supplement that is easy to find and inexpensive, making it a great option if you want to improve your dreaming experience without the side effects of more powerful nootropics.

4. L-Theanine

L-Theanine is an amino acid in green tea, mushrooms, and other foods. It reduces mental and physical stress while improving the clarity of thought. It's traditionally used as a sleeping aid and to improve cognitive functioning.

L-Theanine really shines when it's stacked with magnesium. One study evaluated the effects of L-Theanine and Mg-L-Theanine compounds on sleep quality by assessing electrocorticography (ECoG) patterns, GABAergic and serotonergic receptor expressions, dopamine, serotonin, and melatonin levels [6]Dasdelen, Muhammed Furkan et al. “A Novel Theanine Complex, Mg-L-Theanine Improves Sleep Quality via Regulating Brain Electrochemical Activity.” Frontiers in nutrition vol. 9 874254. 5 Apr. 2022, … Learn more.

The results showed that the Mg-L-Theanine compounds were more effective than L-Theanine alone in regulating sleep quality. These compounds exhibited a potentiating effect by boosting slow brain waves, increasing neurotransmitter levels, and promoting GABA receptor expression.

These findings suggest that magnesium is an essential factor in optimizing the effects of L-Theanine on sleep quality; when combined with adequate magnesium concentrations, L-Theanine has a greater capacity to regulate brain electrical activity and improve overall sleep quality.

Furthermore, this study illustrates the mechanisms underlying L-Theanine's ability to regulate sleep: increased slow brain wave production and higher levels of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and melatonin.

L-Theanine Pros

  • All-natural nootropic supplement
  • Reduces mental and physical stress
  • Improves sleep quality

L-Theanine Cons

  • It has to be stacked with magnesium for the best effects

L-Theanine in Summary

L-Theanine is an all-natural nootropic supplement that reduces mental and physical stress while improving clarity of thought. It's traditionally used as a sleeping aid and to improve cognitive functioning. When combined with adequate magnesium concentrations, L-Theanine has a greater capacity to regulate brain electrical activity and improve overall sleep quality. This makes it an excellent option if you're looking for a natural nootropic supplement to improve your dreams.

5. Citicoline (CDP Choline)

Citicoline (CDP Choline) has been found to be potentially beneficial in lucid dreaming, especially for those who have difficulty achieving a lucid state.

While research is still ongoing, some studies show that CDP Choline provides cholinergic stimulation, which helps to increase dream recall and lucidity [7]Baird, Benjamin et al. “The cognitive neuroscience of lucid dreaming.” Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews vol. 100 (2019): 305-323. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.03.008.

In addition to its potential benefits for lucid dreaming, CDP Choline also has other health benefits. It can help improve memory and concentration, protect against cognitive impairments due to aging, improve physical performance and reduce fatigue.

Studies have also found that it can improve dopamine production, which could lead to improved emotional stability and better moods during the day [8]Shibuya, M et al. “Effects of CDP-choline on striatal dopamine level and behavior in rats.” Japanese journal of pharmacology vol. 31,1 (1981): 47-52. doi:10.1254/jjp.31.47.

Citicoline (CDP Choline) Pros

  • Natural supplement Improves memory and concentration
  • Protects against cognitive impairments
  • It helps to increase dream recall and lucidity

Citicoline (CDP Choline) Cons

  • Some people need high doses for optimal effects

Citicoline (CDP Choline) in Summary

Citicoline (CDP Choline) is a natural supplement that has been found to be potentially beneficial in lucid dreaming. It can help improve memory and concentration, protect against cognitive impairments due to aging, improve physical performance and reduce fatigue. Studies have also found that it can improve dopamine production, which could lead to improved emotional stability and better moods during the day.

6. Alpha GPC

Like CDP Choline, Alpha GPC is a cholinergic compound thought to be beneficial for lucid dreaming. Alpha GPC also increases the production of acetylcholine (ACh), which helps improve memory, recall, and learning.

Studies have shown that acetylcholine is critical for dream recall and lucid dreaming [9]Singh, Alok, and Dhyuti Gupta. “Can Acetylcholine make you dream?.” Sleep science (Sao Paulo, Brazil) vol. 12,3 (2019): 240-241. doi:10.5935/1984-0063.20190096 and that supplementation with Alpha GPC can improve the quality of sleep, enhance dream recall, and even help initiate lucid dreaming states.

Alpha GPC also increases energy levels, reduces mental fatigue, and supports cognitive function. If you're looking for a natural supplement to improve focus and clarity of thought and can help you achieve lucidity in your dreams, Alpha GPC may be the right choice.

Alpha GPC Pros

  • Improves memory, recall, and learning
  • Increases production of acetylcholine
  • It enhances dream recall and can help initiate lucid dreaming states

Alpha GPC Cons

  • Relatively expensive compared to other similar supplements

Alpha GPC in Summary

Alpha GPC is a cholinergic compound that benefits lucid dreaming. It increases the production of acetylcholine, which can help improve memory and recall, enhance dream recall and initiate lucid dreaming states. In addition, Alpha GPC also increases energy levels, reduces mental fatigue, and supports cognitive function.

7. 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid that helps to increase serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter associated with improved mood, and higher concentrations of it have been linked to improved sleep quality [10]Ursin, Reidun. “Serotonin and sleep.” Sleep medicine reviews vol. 6,1 (2002): 55-69. doi:10.1053/smrv.2001.0174.

5-HTP has been found to help reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality, both of which can positively affect your dream life. It may also help increase the chances of achieving lucidity in dreams, as well as helping to remember them more clearly upon awakening [11]Bazzari, Firas Hasan. “Can We Induce Lucid Dreams? A Pharmacological Point of View.” International Journal of Dream Research, … Learn more.

5-HTP is readily available as a supplement and is considered safe for most people. However, it can have mild side effects, such as nausea or headache, so if you are considering taking 5-HTP to assist with lucid dreaming, be sure to talk to your doctor first.

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) Pros

  • It helps to increase serotonin levels
  • Reduces anxiety and improves sleep quality
  • It helps induce lucidity in dreams
  • Cheap and readily available supplement

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) Cons

  • Easy to build up a tolerance

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) in Summary

5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid that can help increase serotonin levels in the brain. It has been found to reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality, which can positively influence your dream life. 5-HTP may also help you achieve a state of lucidity in your dreams, as well as help to remember them more clearly when you wake up.

8. L-Tryptophan

L-Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that helps increase serotonin levels in the brain, improving sleep quality, mood, and cognitive functioning [12]Sutanto, Clarinda N et al. “The impact of tryptophan supplementation on sleep quality: a systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-regression.” Nutrition reviews vol. 80,2 (2022): 306-316. … Learn more. When taken before bed, L-Tryptophan can help to induce feelings of relaxation and peacefulness, helping you to drift off into dreamland quickly.

In addition to improving sleep quality, L-Tryptophan is thought to increase the chances of lucid dreaming. It has been found to improve REM sleep, where you experience most of your dreams.

It's worth pointing out that 5-HTP is generally recommended over L-Tryptophan because it crosses the blood-brain barrier (BBB) at a higher rate and, thus, is converted into serotonin more efficiently than L-Tryptophan.

L-Tryptophan Pros

  • It helps increase serotonin levels
  • Improves sleep quality, mood, and cognitive functioning
  • It can help to induce feelings of relaxation and peacefulness
  • Aids in lucid dreaming

L-Tryptophan Cons

  • Less efficient at crossing the blood-brain barrier compared to 5-HTP

L-Tryptophan in Summary

L-Tryptophan is a serotonin precursor that helps increase serotonin levels in the brain. It has been found to improve sleep quality, mood, and cognitive functioning. Taking it before bed can help to induce feelings of relaxation and peacefulness. L-Tryptophan may also help you achieve lucidity in your dreams by increasing REM sleep.

What Are the Best Nootropics for Lucid Dreaming?

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The best nootropics for lucid dreaming, according to my market research, are:

  1. Vyvamind
  2. Bacopa Monnieri
  3. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
  4. L-Theanine
  5. Citicoline (CDP Choline)
  6. Alpha GPC
  7. 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
  8. L-Tryptophan

My list contains the best nootropics for lucid dreaming based on my research. Each of these nootropics has been found to improve sleep quality and REM sleep, increasing the chances of achieving lucidity in dreams.

If you're brand new to the jungle of nootropics, I recommend starting with a nootropic blend like Vyvamind. Not only do you get more bang for your buck, but you also get to experience all the benefits of combining different nootropics.

Most of the ingredients in Vyvamind work synergistically, helping to improve your cognitive functioning while also assisting in achieving lucidity during dreams.

How to Choose the Right Nootropic Supplement for Lucid Dreaming?

With the sheer number of supplements available on the market, it can be tricky to know where to start. Here are some tips on how to choose the right nootropic supplement for lucid dreaming:

  1. Consider Your Current Neurochemistry: Before selecting any nootropic supplement, it’s important to take stock of your current neurochemistry and consider potential deficiencies or imbalances in certain areas. This includes looking at serotonin levels, dopamine function, and acetylcholine levels. Attention to these details will help you determine which supplements are most likely to help promote healthy lucid dreaming experiences.
  2. Check the Ingredients: When choosing a nootropic supplement for lucid dreaming, it’s essential to thoroughly read through its ingredients list and research any components you aren’t familiar with. Ensure all ingredients are natural rather than synthetic, as this will increase the likelihood that they are safe for long-term use without causing any adverse effects.
  3. Speak With an Expert: If, after doing your research, you still feel overwhelmed by all the options available or unsure about which one is best for you, seek professional advice from experts who understand supplements specifically meant for lucid dreaming and can make more tailored recommendations based on individual needs and health history.

In addition to point number 3, it's always a good idea to start with nootropic blends like Vyvamind, as they contain a combination of the above-listed ingredients, making it easier to get your desired results with minimal effort.

Following these tips, you can find the ideal nootropic supplement for lucid dreaming that works best for your current neurochemistry and lifestyle needs.

What Are the Benefits of Nootropics for Lucid Dreaming?

The primary benefit of using nootropics for lucid dreaming is improved sleep quality and an increased chance of achieving lucidity during dreams.

Here are some of the ways nootropics can help with lucid dreaming:

  • Increased Memory Retention: Nootropics can increase your capacity for properly storing memories which can help you better recognize dream content when lucid. With more vivid dreams come deeper insights and greater clarity into your subconscious mind.
  • Improved Focus: Using a nootropic supplement can also help you pay attention and stay focused when you are awake and aware during your dreams. This allows you to stay in control of the dreamscape rather than having it slip away as soon as you become conscious.
  • Enhanced Mental Clarity: Taking nootropics has been known to increase mental clarity, allowing lucid dreamers to experience visions with greater vividness and detail - making them easier to interpret upon waking up.
  • Reduced Anxiety & Stress: Nootropic supplements can also be beneficial for reducing anxiety and stress levels throughout the day, improving overall relaxation levels while asleep - meaning you drift off into a deeper sleep state more quickly, where lucid dreaming becomes much more achievable.

What Are the Side Effects of Nootropics for Lucid Dreaming?

Nootropic supplements are generally considered safe and non-habit-forming when used in moderate doses and as recommended. However, they may cause some mild side effects, such as:

  • Headaches or dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Stomach upset
  • Insomnia
  • Increased heart rate
  • A feeling of restlessness

It's important to note that these side effects are generally mild and should subside after a few days, but if they persist or worsen, it may be best to talk to your doctor about reducing them.

People who take nootropics for lucid dreaming should also avoid using them in combination with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs).

Combining nootropics that boost serotonin levels with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) can have a range of negative effects on the brain due to increased serotonin activity.

When the level of serotonin increases, it can result in overstimulation of the central nervous system (CNS), leading to:

  • Increased agitation
  • Auditory and visual hallucinations
  • Intense anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Insomnia

Do Nootropics Really Work for Lucid Dreaming?

Yes, nootropics that boost serotonin levels can be an effective tool for people who want to achieve lucid dreaming.

Since serotonin is a natural neurotransmitter regulating mood and sleep, it plays an important role in lucid dreaming.

Higher serotonin levels can lead to more vivid dreams and heightened awareness during dreaming, allowing for greater control and clarity over dream states.

Additionally, nootropics are generally considered safe when used appropriately, making them a suitable option for people looking to explore the world of lucid dreaming.

Final Thoughts

So what do we know about the best nootropics for lucid dreaming?

The most effective nootropics boost serotonin levels and improve focus and mental clarity. Additionally, they must be taken safely while avoiding interactions with SSRIs.

Nootropic blends like Vyvamind provides a full spectrum of serotonin- and acetylcholine-boosting ingredients that can help you achieve your dream states with greater ease.

Ultimately, nootropics are a helpful tool for lucid dreamers, but it is important to remember that they should always be used safely and cautiously.

By understanding the basics of lucid dreaming and nootropics, you can decide which supplement may work best for your needs. With the right approach to nootropic supplementation, you can explore the world of lucid dreaming.

Good luck!

References

References
1Baird, Benjamin, et al. “Lucid Dreaming Occurs in Activated Rapid Eye Movement Sleep, Not a Mixture of Sleep and Wakefulness.” Sleep, vol. 45, no. 4, 2022, https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsab294.
2

Haskell, Crystal F et al. “The effects of L-theanine, caffeine and their combination on cognition and mood.” Biological psychology vol. 77,2 (2008): 113-22. doi:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2007.09.008

3Rauf, Khalid et al. “A Bacoside containing Bacopa monnieri extract reduces both morphine hyperactivity plus the elevated striatal dopamine and serotonin turnover.” Phytotherapy research : PTR vol. 26,5 (2012): 758-63. doi:10.1002/ptr.3631
4Aguiar, Sebastian, and Thomas Borowski. “Neuropharmacological review of the nootropic herb Bacopa monnieri.” Rejuvenation research vol. 16,4 (2013): 313-26. doi:10.1089/rej.2013.1431
5Ebben, Matthew et al. “Effects of pyridoxine on dreaming: a preliminary study.” Perceptual and motor skills vol. 94,1 (2002): 135-40. doi:10.2466/pms.2002.94.1.135
6Dasdelen, Muhammed Furkan et al. “A Novel Theanine Complex, Mg-L-Theanine Improves Sleep Quality via Regulating Brain Electrochemical Activity.” Frontiers in nutrition vol. 9 874254. 5 Apr. 2022, doi:10.3389/fnut.2022.874254
7Baird, Benjamin et al. “The cognitive neuroscience of lucid dreaming.” Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews vol. 100 (2019): 305-323. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2019.03.008
8Shibuya, M et al. “Effects of CDP-choline on striatal dopamine level and behavior in rats.” Japanese journal of pharmacology vol. 31,1 (1981): 47-52. doi:10.1254/jjp.31.47
9Singh, Alok, and Dhyuti Gupta. “Can Acetylcholine make you dream?.” Sleep science (Sao Paulo, Brazil) vol. 12,3 (2019): 240-241. doi:10.5935/1984-0063.20190096
10Ursin, Reidun. “Serotonin and sleep.” Sleep medicine reviews vol. 6,1 (2002): 55-69. doi:10.1053/smrv.2001.0174
11Bazzari, Firas Hasan. “Can We Induce Lucid Dreams? A Pharmacological Point of View.” International Journal of Dream Research, https://journals.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/index.php/IJoDR/article/view/42462.
12Sutanto, Clarinda N et al. “The impact of tryptophan supplementation on sleep quality: a systematic review, meta-analysis, and meta-regression.” Nutrition reviews vol. 80,2 (2022): 306-316. doi:10.1093/nutrit/nuab027