Lucid dreams and DMT

For those who wish to discuss the purely scientific aspects of sleep and dreams, including new research and future technologies.
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Karin
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Lucid dreams and DMT

Postby Karin » 08 Jun 2014 21:37

I was wondering about a possible link between LDs and endogenous production of DMT by the brain. More specifically: can LDs, and especially WILDs, be facilitated by larger than normal release of DMT by the brain?

Here's why I am asking this question:

A: I had four LDs so far, two of them being WILDs (spontaneous ones), an both WILDs occurred at 3:00am, supposedly the peak time of natural DMT production by the brain.

B: In both cases, the first thing I noticed was a loud buzzing in my head, followed by body rush and vibrations. The loud buzzing and rush is also reported by people injecting DMT. Actually, when it happened the first time, I immediately thought: "Oh, this feels like a DMT release, I'll go with it and see what happens." And BOOM, I found myself in a lucid dream. I had never heard of WILDs, but I had heard of DMT trips (see book reference below).

C: People injecting with DMT report finding themselves in different realities. Reading their accounts, these experiences sound like LDs to me, except that the people seem to have no control over them and they sound more overwhelming and more life-changing. But maybe that's because in their cases the DMT dose is higher, and the brain is not in control of the release, and has no choice but to ride the wave, whether the person likes or not. Whereas in a WILD, one can chose to wake up and terminate the experience whenever one so wishes.

I am basing these reflections on the book 'DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor's Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences' by Rick Strassman, who conducted government-funded DMT research at the University of New Mexico, in the 1990's.

Maybe people having first-hand experience of both WILDs and injecting/smoking DMT would contradict me that both experiences have nothing in common, but from reading the book above and then experiencing WILDs, I am intrigued by the similarities.

Interestingly, supposedly large DMT releases also occur at the time of death, which in itself can explain NDE-types of experiences. Maybe an NDE is a sort of ultimate extra-deep LD? This could work for various belief systems: for those who believe the brain produces LDs/NDEs, DMT could be the hallucinogen involved in the process, and for those who believe LDs/NDEs occur in other dimensions, DMT could be the agent allowing consciousness to disconnect from the brain.

I am personally not interested in injecting or smoking anything, but I am highly interested in naturally increasing my endogenous production of DMT (no idea how, besides practicing and remembering the experience). Maybe this could lead to deeper LD experiences.

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HAGART
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Re: Lucid dreams and DMT

Postby HAGART » 10 Jun 2014 03:35

I've heard all this before and I agree there is something to it. I have nothing to add since I have done no research, but I do have one question to ponder:

Why is 3:00 a.m. the peak time it is released? Why that exact time (give or take)? I doubt time of day has anything to do with it. I think it's just the average time people transition from deep sleep into the REM sleep cycle. Exact time just depends on your sleep schedule. I think it has to do with (sorry to be scientifically technical here), but the start of "Dreamy Time Sleep". :P

It's a natural hallucinogen and dreams are a trip. :ugeek:

I bet a neuroscientist would agree, but uses bigger words. ;)
If we all lucid dreamed this world would be a better place.

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Karin
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Re: Lucid dreams and DMT

Postby Karin » 10 Jun 2014 13:17

Thanks. Yes, totally, even though I don't remember the details, I am sure 3:00am has nothing to do with clock time but rather corresponds to the average circadian rhythms based on light, like melatonin and body temperature do.

So I am assuming if someone has a completely different wake-sleep schedule it's likely not going to be 3:00am but something else.

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Summerlander
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Re: Lucid dreams and DMT

Postby Summerlander » 12 Jun 2014 21:48

I've read Rick Strassman's books and found the DMT trials intriguing. I would have loved to have read about the psilocybin study and a detailed version should be done on LSD too. Endogenous DMT could in fact play a major role in our perception of reality: both awake and asleep. It is said that our perception of the waking world is an elaborate hallucination constrained by sensory input. The call DMT the "spirit molecule" (sure, it can bring about a sense of the numinous), but I prefer to see it as the "dream molecule" - fuel for our dreaming minds... 8-)
"Empty cognizance of one taste, suffused with knowing, is your unmistaken nature, the uncontrived original state. when not altering what is, allow it to be as it is, and the awakened state is right now spontaneously present."

- Padmasambhava

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Karin
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Re: Lucid dreams and DMT

Postby Karin » 12 Jun 2014 23:53

I find this topic of psychedelics fascinating, and I am glad to see this area of research is picking up again (see for example the work of MAPS in the US), because IMO psychedelics could be a powerful tool to study consciousness, which is one of the great mysteries of science.

Here's one recent psilocybin study that I find very intriguing. What is especially interesting in that study is that it used some recently available real-time brain imaging technique, fMRI (for 'functional MRI', which is not the same thing as plain MRI). fMRI allows near real-time visualization of brain activity, whereas older brain imaging techniques like MRI only reveal static pictures of average brain activity over time.

So this recent study allows to see what exactly is happening in brain DURING the trip, not just an average before/during/after. It actually found results opposed to previous studies, that is in a nutshell:

- A DECREASE in blood flow during the trip, and the more intense the trip experience, the less blood flow!

How fascinating is that!

Neural correlates of the psychedelic state as determined by fMRI studies with psilocybin
PNAS February 7, 2012 vol. 109 no. 6 2138-2143
http://www.pnas.org/content/109/6/2138.full

Some extracts from the above:

"As predicted, profound changes in consciousness were observed after psilocybin, but surprisingly, only decreases in cerebral blood flow and BOLD signal were seen, and these were maximal in hub regions, such as the thalamus and anterior and posterior cingulate cortex (ACC and PCC). Decreased activity in the ACC/medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) was a consistent finding and the magnitude of this decrease predicted the intensity of the subjective effects."

"This finding is consistent with Aldous Huxley's "reducing valve" metaphor (34) and Karl Friston's "free-energy principle" (35), which propose that the mind/brain works to constrain its experience of the world."

And here's a comment article on the above study:

Hallucinogen actions on human brain revealed
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 February 7; 109(6): 1820–1821.
http://www.pnas.org/content/109/6/2138.full

"Coincident with these profound perceptual alterations, decreases in cerebral blood flow were observed in key brain regions long implicated in psychedelic drug actions—the anterior and posterior cingulate cortices and thalamus. Intriguingly, the intensity of the psychedelic experience significantly correlated with decrements in blood flow in the thalamus and anterior cingulate cortex."

"The findings of Carhart-Harris et al. (14) are also important because they provide a nice proof that, provided appropriate safeguards are in place, psychedelic drug actions can once again be rigorously deconstructed in normal human volunteers. Psychedelic drugs are unique in their abilities to profoundly alter human awareness and perception, and these studies provide important hints regarding the neuronal substrates of human consciousness."

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HAGART
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Re: Lucid dreams and DMT

Postby HAGART » 13 Jun 2014 16:50

(Not to change the subject from psychedelics. I was just thinking more about DMT and wanted to share it.)


I was thinking more about DMT, and how we naturally produce it. DMT would explain sleep deprived hallucinations and REM rebound.

Just like your bladder, if you don't release it, it will continue to fill up. If you don't release DMT during dreams, it too will build up to a large dose in the brain and slowly leak out (sleep deprived hallucinations), or when you do finally release it and sleep again, your dreams will be longer and more intense (REM rebound).

Karin wrote:I am personally not interested in injecting or smoking anything, but I am highly interested in naturally increasing my endogenous production of DMT (no idea how, besides practicing and remembering the experience). Maybe this could lead to deeper LD experiences.


I don't recommend complete sleep deprivation as that tends to throw the whole body rhythm out of whack and is not healthy. But purposefully waking up a little early a day or more and sleeping in on another day, would build up your DMT reserve (and perhaps other required dream chemicals) and provide the opportunity for a powerful Lucid Dream every few days.

So instead of trying to lucid dream every night, build up a reserve of "dream juice" first, and then do it every few days. Do you prefer quantity or quality?
If we all lucid dreamed this world would be a better place.

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Karin
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Re: Lucid dreams and DMT

Postby Karin » 13 Jun 2014 17:24

Oooooh thanks for that, HAGART!!! Big light bulb moment: since my last LD a month ago (LD#4), I haven't had a single one, and worst of all, I can barely remember my regular dreams. I have also been waking up earlier and earlier, so I am not getting as much sleep as normal (though I feel good, no sleepiness).

So, from what you just wrote, I am now hoping that what's happening is that I am holding a ton of DMT in. When it finally gets released, it should be fireworks, right??? I freaking hope so!!! Whoohoo! :lol:

Holding DMT -> TNT! 8-)

Well, at least that gives me a positive way to look at this. I was starting to get worried that I would never get to experience these amazing WILDs again.

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HAGART
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Re: Lucid dreams and DMT

Postby HAGART » 14 Jun 2014 03:10

I'm very familiar with REM rebound. It doesn't mean you will be lucid, but I sure do get a ton of dreams after a period of skipping that sleep phase. The rest is up to you, and whatever you practice, to take the body's natural tendency to dream (with a vengeance after lack of dreams) and make them lucid.
If we all lucid dreamed this world would be a better place.

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taniaaust1
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Re: Lucid dreams and DMT

Postby taniaaust1 » 14 Jun 2014 13:06

This all was new to me, Interesting thread, thanks.

I used to always wake up around 3am for no reason, always at exactly the same time. Now Im wondering if it had something to do with that DMT.
The only thing to fear is the fear itself

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JonSnowLD
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Re: Lucid dreams and DMT

Postby JonSnowLD » 17 Jun 2014 21:32

Did not know DMT occurred naturally in the body... Cool! After reading this thread, just posing the idea of a WOLD group research trip to the amazon to check out some DMT? ;) Followed by a field trip to Amsterdam to try out some pscilocybin truffles? ;) Hehehe jokes aside, I found this very interesting-psychedelics fascinate me because they kind of go hand in hand with the alternate reality of dreams!

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