I am often asked about lucid dreaming supplements. There are lots of herbs and supplements that seem to have dream-heightening properties, but very few with scientific studies to back them up. However, there is a supplement called galantamine, which in my experience, is effective in heightening and clarifying dreams, which then makes it easier to become lucid in them.
What is Galantamine?
Galantamine is an alkaloid extracted from the snowdrop daffodil and spider lily, which are in the Amaryllidaceae (amaryllis) family of flowering plants. It was reportedly used 3200 years ago by the Greek hero Odysseus. It has been used in Eastern Europe and Russia since the 1950’s for the treatment of various neurological disorders. In its prescription strength form, galantamine was approved in the US by the FDA in 2001 for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, and is sold under the names Nivalin®, Reminyl® and later Razadine®. In its over-the-counter form that is used for lucid dreaming, you can find it as Galantamind. Galantamine is often mixed with choline bitartrate, which is a supplement that is said to improve memory, creating the perfect dream cocktail.
How Does Galantamine Work?
Galatamine is in a class of substances known as Acetylcholine Esterase inhibitors (AChEls), which are most commonly used to enhance memory and have been shown to increase dream recall and dream lucidity. By keeping more of this neurotransmitter active in your brain you tend to have stronger and clearer dreams. These substances have also been found to increase rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is associated with dreaming.
Are There Side Effects With Galantamine?
I have never experienced side effects from Galantamine and I think that is because the dosage taken for lucid dreaming is significantly less than what is prescribed for Alzheimer’s. Also, I only use it for a periodic boost and do not recommend regular use, as that can result in side effects such as dizziness.
Since everyone is different in terms of side effects, it is good to be aware of the more common ones experienced with prescription strength galantamine. These can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, diarrhea, headache, decreased appetite, and decreased weight. It’s not to be used by children, pregnant or lactating women, or those dealing with depression.
How Much Should I take and When?
The standard dosage for lucid dreamers is 4 to 8 mg about six hours after you go to sleep. The reason for this timing is that the longest periods of REM sleep are usually in the morning. So, you set an alarm and take it around two hours before you normally wake up, then go back to sleep.
I have used galantamine as a supplement for lucid dreaming and have lots of success with it. But I also build my lucid dreaming practice much more around meditation, and the variety of induction techniques developed in both the Eastern spiritual traditions (specifically Tibetan Buddhist) and by current Western scientific discoveries. As with any supplement, my recommendation is to use it but don’t abuse it.