Dream enhancement with natural supplements, herbs, melatonin and vitamins by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
June 20 2015

It is possible to enhance dreams and make them more vivid with the use of dietary supplements.

Back in 1994, the pineal hormone melatonin became available over the counter. I was one of the first people who tried it and the very first night noticed that my dreams were enhanced. You can try it for yourself. It comes in various dosages, but 1 mg should be fine, whereas 3 mg can make dreams very vivid, including the potential for nightmares. The use of natural supplements can certainly lead to lucid dreams. Another supplement that can easily cause lucid dreaming is 5-HTP.

My personal vivid dream enhancement observations
I have noticed that my dreams are more vivid or lucid whenever:

I am exposed to more daylight and I spend more time outdoors than indoors.
I am more physically active rather than being sedentary.
I take melatonin or 5-HTP. Melatonin is a pineal hormone available over the counter as a dietary supplement. A dose of 1 mg or higher can induce vivid dreams.
I eat a carbohydrate meal before bed, such as pasta with tomato sauce and a little bit of cheese.

Emails received regarding dream enhancement
Q. For me, vinpocetine induces lucid dreams and out of body experiences. Well it does so but if I take acetyl l carnitine with it. For me 5 to 10 mg vinpocetine and about 20 - 25 mg of ALC does excellent lucid dream which do get converted sometimes into out of body (OBE) experiences. The real secret is that during my experimentation i found that the same adventures can also occur if i take 1000mg of Fish oil with 3000mg of Brahmi (Bacopa). Actually Bacopa and fish oil gives me the lucid dreams or OBE right at that night while vinpocetine and ALC takes 3 to 5 days before it starts to happen. I guess natural stuff always wins! And fish oil & Brahmi strongly potentiate my sex drive, labido and orgasms. While vinpocetine has the opposite effect sometimes.

Q. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions on supplements for stressful dreams but NOT stressful, depressing, anxiety-filled days.
   A. I don't know of any supplements that reduce the intensity of dreams or make them less stressful. Certain supplements enhance dreams and make them more vivid and you may wish to avoid those which include melatonin, tryptophan and 5-HTP.  You may also wish to avoid eating a lot of carbohydrates 2 or 3 hours before sleep.

I have read that DMAE can be used to help stimulate lucid dreams but i have yet to read where it is stated exactly what is the recommended doses to use. What does the research say about the doses of DMAE that is used to help stimulate lucid dreams?
   I am not aware of such research regarding a good DMAE dose to stimulate lucid dreams, but the use of this brain booster in the evening is likely to cause shallow sleep. Melatonin is a much more natural way to enhance dreams.

I wanted to comment on your article on cordyceps cs-4 mushroom. I've been taking it for over a month and I immediately had a side effect of dreaming all night. Even when I wake up from a dream, I go back into dreaming. I seem to wake up alert, but find that I take naps in the late afternoon and have a new freshness. I just took a break from it and the dreaming stopped instantly. I don't feel as energetic when I wake up, but I still wake up refreshed.