Joined: 18 Nov 2006
Location: Arizona, USA
|Posted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:35 pm Post subject: Part 2 of the article on Dreams
|What Causes Vivid Dreams?
By: Molly Mann (View Profile)
The Link Between Diet and Dreams
You’ve probably heard that spicy or fatty foods can give you nightmares, but the link between food and sleep goes beyond that. Vivid dreams are a symptom of a vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) excess in the body and can be a warning sign of more complex neurological disorders if over ingestion is continued. Most cases of vitamin B6 excess are due to supplements; limit intake to 100 milligrams (mg) or less per day to avoid toxicity.
Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, is another cause of vivid dreams. When the brain senses that glucose levels are low, it will do strange things to get stored glucose into the blood stream. One way it does so is through adrenaline spurts. If your vivid dreams are accompanied by a feeling of being “wired” (if, like me, you find yourself doing ninja kicks around your bedroom at those pesky alien invaders), it likely stems from a blood sugar issue. I solved my problem by adding more protein to my diet, especially before going to sleep. It keeps my glucose levels regulated throughout the night and I sleep much more peacefully.
Take Control with Lucid Dreaming
The problem with vivid dreams is separating them from waking reality. However, the practice of lucid dreaming, in which you become increasingly aware of your dreams until you actually develop the ability to control them, may offer a solution that doesn’t stem from any of the root causes listed above. Oneironauts, or lucid dreamers, train themselves to alter their dream experiences to include flight, exotic travel, delicious tastes, and any other vivid experiences they desire. Researchers at the Lucidity Institute at Stanford University have developed a Super NovaDreamer kit that helps you recognize “dream signs” or signals that tell you that you’re dreaming. With practice, you learn to recognize and manipulate these dream signs to dictate the elements that will appear in your dream. It’s like a virtual reality game in your head.
Dreams come in all varieties, from the simply satisfying to the seriously scary. Most of the time, we don’t even remember having dreamt, but many people experience dreams so vivid that they spill over into the next day, blurring the edges of reality. After ruling out a more systematic cause of vivid dreams like diet or disease, you might be interested in taking the next step and playing around with how you can take advantage of this other dream world.
First published March 2009