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If you are familiar with lucid dreaming, then you probably know something about melatonin.
In short, it’s a hormone, that we produce naturally in the pineal gland. It is also the main regulator of our natural body clock (circadian rhythm).
But is it true that melatonin can enhance our lucid dreaming by causing vivid dreams?
Well, that’s what we are going to figure out now!
We will go through:
- How does melatonin work?
- Melatonin benefits
- Melatonin (milligram) dosage for lucid dreaming
- Side effects of melatonin
- Tips on how to increase melatonin levels NATURALLY
– How many milligrams of melatonin can you take at night, for sleep?
– How can melatonin cause more dreams?
– Does melatonin cause weird dreams?
– Does it work for everybody?
– Is it safe to take a higher dose?
– Does melatonin induce nightmares?
1. How does melatonin work?
Even though it is produced naturally in our bodies, it is also used as medicine, created synthetically in a laboratory.
It is most commonly available in a pill form.
Above all, it is involved in many aspects of the biological and physiologic regulation of body functions.
One of the main jobs of the hormone is to regulate night and day cycles or sleep-wake cycles.
It is important to know that the light reduces melatonin levels and production. It also sends signals the body to prepare for being awake.
So, in the morning, when the light hits the eyes, this signalize the brain to reduce the production, whereafter you become alert.
On the other hand, darkness increases the production of it, which signals the body to prepare for sleep.
For example, about 2 hours before bedtime, the levels of the hormone begin to rise.
2. Melatonin benefits
The supplement has plenty of benefits, including:
Taking melatonin before bed can undeniably help you get to sleep. It can also:
- controls the sleep-wake cycle
- helps to sleep quicker, sleep longer, and deeper
2) Aid with fatigue from jet lag
Jet lag is a physiological condition which results from alterations to the body’s circadian rhythms.
They are caused by rapid long-distance travel.
In fact, people often supplement with it if they travel longer distances.
It can fix the sleep disturbances, mental inefficiency, and daytime fatigue that occur after flights across several time zones.
3) Circadian rhythm sleep disorders
They occur when the circadian system does not function properly, due to jet lag or shift work. Melatonin aids by balancing the circadian rhythm.
Did you know that in patients with insomnia, melatonin concentration is significantly lower compared to people with normal sleep?
5 mg dose shortened the time of falling asleep, as well as it reduced the sleep duration.
Overall, it improved the sleep quality!
5) Promotes lucid dreaming
As it makes the dreams longer and more vivid, it also enhances lucid dreaming.
It makes it easier to remember your dreams, to recognize that you are dreaming, as well as to increase the control over the dream.
That’s when someone suffers from disturbed circadian sleep/wake rhythm and REM sleep deficit.
3. Melatonin (milligram) dosage for lucid dreaming
A lot of people reported vivid and long dreams from only 3 mg. At first, try with a lower dosage.
If you don’t see any difference in a few days, you can increase the dose, to 5-6 mg, or 10-12 mg.
3-5 mg it is more than enough to make your dreams very vivid, which has the potential to provoke a lucid dream!
So, start with a lower dose and see how it works. You can gradually increase it, if you don’t see any results.
Please, before experimenting with a HIGHER dose, read the FAQ section, below.
You should take your pill RIGHT before going to sleep. This will help you to fall asleep easier, as well to experience the full effect of the pill.
4. Side effects of melatonin
Here’s the deal – melatonin is safe for most of us. Even for long-term usage, the risks are minimal.
Yet, some people experience the following side effects:
- short-term feelings of depression
- daytime sleepiness
- stomach cramps
Furthermore, it is best to avoid melatonin IF:
- you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- you have a bleeding disorder
- you have depression (especially if you are taking antidepressants)
- you have a seizure disorder
- you have diabetes since it can boost blood sugar
Risks of taking too much melatonin:
Taking higher dose of melatonin, such as 20 mg (or more), is unlikely to cause any serious negative effects. However it is highly possible to cause headaches, dizziness, nausea or anxiety.
Taking too much can also lead to grogginess the next day, and it can make other drugs less effective, including high blood pressure medications.
Melatonin is possible to interact with other medications such as, sedatives, birth control pills, antidiabetes drugs, or even caffeine.
As always, I recommend to check up first with your doctor before taking any pills, even if the risks are minimal.
It’s better to stay on the safe side and do your thorough research! If you decide to take the supplement, do it at your own risk.
Additionally, if you experience any of the side effects, it’s best to avoid using melatonin for lucid dreaming, and to find other alternatives.
5. Tips on how to increase melatonin levels NATURALLY
1) SLEEPING MASK
Numerous studies confirmed that:
This may cause disturbance of your REM sleep and therefore – your dreams, too.
This is why you don’t want to have ANY lights during the night.
Not from a TV/screen, street lights from your window or early daylight.
The most effective, as well as a cheap way of dealing with this is by getting yourself a sleeping mask.
In case you want to get one, find how to find a good sleeping mask, that won’t slip throughout the night right.
2) FOODS THAT CAN ENHANCE MELATONIN PRODUCTION
Some of the foods, that are rich in tryptophan are:
- Seeds & nuts: pumpkin & sunflower seeds, chia, sesame
- Soy products: soybeans, tofu, tempeh
- Oats: whole oats, buckwheat
- Beans: white & kidney & black beans, lentils
For more details check the 42 foods that make you dream more:
3) HOT BATH AT NIGHT
Studies demonstrate that if you take a hot bath before going to sleep it will have a relaxing effect on the body.
What is more, it can boost the melatonin levels, too.
Possibly it is due to the relaxing effect on cortisol levels from a hot bath. As cortisol decreases, the ”sleeping hormone” levels will rise.
Relaxation techniques, such as meditation, help to lower cortisol and de-stress the body.
When the body is de-stressed, increased production of melatonin is one of the good things that happen in your body.
It appears that the hormone demands a calm and relaxed mind and body, in order to be produced in the early evening hours.
When we lucid dream, we are being conscious in the dream state. Being able to maintain this awareness, the level...Read more
How many milligrams of melatonin can you take at night?
For trouble falling asleep:
- 0.3 to 5 mg for up to 9 months
For sleeping problems in people with sleep-wake cycle disturbances:
- 2-12 mg at bedtime for up to 4 weeks
For primary insomnia:
- 2 mg to 3 mg at bedtime for up to 29 weeks.
- Higher doses of up to 12 mg daily for shorter durations (up to 4 weeks)
For secondary insomnia:
- 2-12 mg for up to 4 weeks has been used. Lower doses have also been used for up to 24 weeks.
For inducing a lucid dreaming:
- 3-12 mg from time to time – If you take the pill too often, just to enhance your lucid dreams, you will become too “depended”. Thus, you will have a hard time to learn how to induce a lucid dream naturally.
How can melatonin cause more dreams?
Evidently, taking the supplement can increase dream activity in some people:
1) First of all, the supplement promotes better sleep.
Studies proved that melatonin significantly improved sleep quality after only 3 weeks of nightly supplementation.
Specifically, the total sleep time and sleep efficiency were drastically improved.
2) Another important aspect is the fact that the pill can improve your REM sleep – the sleeping stage where most dreams happen.
The sleep scientist Dr. Sanjeev Kothare admitted that melatonin’s role in REM sleep could contribute to more dreams:
The improved quality and quantity of REM explain why people, that take the supplement, often report to dream more.
More REM = more dreams!
3) Furthermore, it affects our dreams by simply making them:
- more vivid, and more memorable, which also can help when we want to trigger lucidity.
AN INTERESTING FACT, is that a study found:
Does melatonin cause weird dreams?
Well, it depends.
As prolonged REM sleep is one of the positive ”side effect” of melatonin, more REM sleep means more dreaming.
Furthermore, we can all admit that often, a lot of our dreams are pretty odd and strange.
Moreover, a study carried for 2 weeks with 22 students concluded that:
“The hypotheses were partially supported by significant results on several specific aspects of dream bizarreness”
Accordingly, the research showed that dream bizarreness was certainly higher after following melatonin treatments.
But do not forget that the supplement might not work the same for you.
In addition, for my experience, I didn’t experience weirder *than usual* dreams 😀
Does it work for everybody?
If taken at the right time and in the right dose, it will work for almost everybody.
It can enhance your dreams, to improve your sleep schedule or to help you to relax and to sleep better.
It can be even used as an aid for certain circadian rhythm disorders.
I don’t want to repeat myself too much, but the truth is that –
It can work for some people and not for others. We all are different, and some things do not work for everybody.
The only way to find if it will work doe you is to give it a try.
If your main goal is to lucid dream, then do not count entirely on the supplement.
It is an amazing aid for relaxation and better sleep.
However, even if it makes your dreams super vivid, do not forget that it is not a magic pill.
For faster and better lucid dream results, definitely combine it with:
Does melatonin induce nightmares?
Melatonin itself does not induce any nightmares.
However, do you remember that I said it does improve your REM sleep?
If you usually experience a lot of nightmares, the supplement might make the nightmares more vivid.
Moreover, if your usual dreaming pattern is filled with nightmares, then the pill might prolong them, too.
So if you are troubling with scary dreams, then it is best to figure out first how to deal with that type of dreams.
In this case, be sure to check our guide on how to overcome nightmares, before trying it.