The psychology student, Denholm Aspy, is studying various aspects of dreaming for his PhD project and hopes to uncover how people can gain more control over their dreams.
“Early research suggests that taking vitamin B6 may be able to make dreams more vivid, colourful, emotional and bizarre, and other B vitamins may also help people to remember their dreams or have lucid dreams (dreams where people are aware they are dreaming, while they are dreaming),” says Mr Aspy.
“While previous research has looked at the link between vitamin B6 and dreaming, my study will be the first to compare the effects of vitamin B6 with other B vitamins in a large and diverse group of people,” he says.
The vitamin B dreaming study is additional to research Mr Aspy is undertaking into lucid dreams, which focuses on techniques designed to help people have more lucid dreams.
“In order to have lucid dreams, it is very important to first be able to recall dreams on a regular basis. Taking B vitamins may help people to recall their dreams and have more vivid dreams, which could be very valuable for people wanting to have lucid dreams,” says Mr Aspy.
“The average person spends around five years of their lives dreaming,” he says. “If we are able to become lucid and control our dreams, we can then use our dreaming time more productively.
“Previous research suggests that lucid dreaming has many potential benefits. For example, it may be possible to use lucid dreaming for overcoming nightmares, treating phobias, creative problem solving, refining motor skills and even helping with rehabilitation from physical trauma,” he says.
Study participants will be asked to take part over a 10-day period. They will be provided with capsules that either contain vitamin B6, a vitamin B-Complex preparation (with numerous B vitamins) or a placebo.
During the trial, the participants will be required to fill out a brief questionnaire each morning, which will later be analysed to determine how the vitamins impacted the style of dreaming and dream recall.