A Guide to Lucid Dream Supplements

By Mentor Palokaj

Mentor Palokaj describes the two classes of lucid dream supplements - from those that boost intensity and bizarreness, to those that increase memory and REM time.


A Guide to Lucid Dream Supplements

There are a number of lucid dreaming supplements you can take to support your training. There is, however, no substance that can guarantee to induce lucid dreams entirely on its own. Disappointed? Don't be.

Look at it this way. Taking a lucid dreaming supplement is like using a protein shake after a workout. If you only take the protein shake and stare at your weights and go home, the supplement does nothing. But if you lift weights and take protein shakes your progress will be much greater.

To cut a long story short, lucidity supplements can be used as a catalyst. Consider a nitro boost on a car. You still have to learn how to drive, but now you can go a lot faster. Ready to try some out?

We've Found No "On" Switch

If you're using supplements a short-cut, you need to understand that, so far, science has found no single compound that can trigger lucid dreams.

There are some cool pieces of research that use magnetic fields, but for the purposes of this article we'll assume you don't have access to a transcranial magnetic stimulator.

Provided you understand there is still work involved, supplements may well be the best way to supercharge your results.

The Stages of Lucid Dreaming

Explaining what lucid dreaming supplements do is much easier if we split the beginning of a lucid dream in a couple of stages:

    1. Awareness: "Something's off... I don't remember having a pet zebra."
    2. Realization: "This must be a dream!"
    3. Verification: Do a reality check before trying to fly.
    4. Experience: Go to the moon. (Go there more often, it changes.)
    5. Recollection: It's no use lucid dreaming if you don't remember it.

    Sometimes it feels like you skip a stage. Some of you have had the experience of instant realization, or the induction of a Wake Induced Lucid Dream.

    Please keep in mind that these stages are arbitrary. I'm using them to explain some theories of lucid dreaming supplements. It's entirely possible that you experience lucid dreaming differently.

    The Stages on Steroids

    No, I'm not advocating the use of steroids now. But you've seen the boost that steroids give to bodybuilders. Now imagine being able to achieve an equally dramatic effect on your already established lucid dream life.

    • Amplify stage 1 or 2 to induce lucid dreams much more easily.
    • Supercharge stage 4 to have truly crazy lucid dreams.
    • Juice up stage 5 so your memory of your dreams will improve greatly.

    As an illustration, I recall the story of one Scandinavian woman that lucid dreams during every dream. She has learned to instinctively do stage 1 on autopilot. She simply feels she is dreaming straight away. She can feel this so clearly that it encompasses stages 1, 2 and 3 in an instant.

    Targeting a Stage

    So most lucid dreaming supplements target one of the stages and amplify that.

    Technically, they don't target anything - they create an effect on your brain that spills over in your dreaming experience. An example is stage 5 (remembering your dreams): if a substance improves your short term memory it will help you remember your dreams better as well.

    Getting The Basics Right

    Your brain is an amazing, complex and adaptable organ.

    It is, however, very sensitive to how you treat it. To make things worse, it's quite good a hiding trouble from you.

    Sounds a bit doomsday? Get this:

    In a 2000 study researchers did a double blind, placebo controlled study on children. Presumably healthy children. The setup was simple:

    • Measure IQ of the kid
    • Give the kid Pill X or a placebo
    • Measure IQ again

    Pill X did something amazing. It increased the average IQ of the test group by 2.5 points. A significant portion of the kids even gained 15 or more points!

    Pill X must be an amazing pill, no? Anticlimax time: it was a multivitamin1.

    What am I trying to get at here? Many people have their brain running with the breaks on, so to speak.

    Subclinical deficiency (you have too little nutrients, but are not ill) is quite widespread. Why does that matter? Well, you can't expect to tweak your brain if it is not even functioning at 100% can you?

    Your brain and nerve cells are highly complex, and need a lot of nutrients to function right.

    Neuron Cell Diagram

    Basic Brain Supplements

    I could (and would love to) start writing about getting your general health in order. But this is an article about lucid dreaming supplements. If you can't get all your nutrients through food, at least be nice to your brain and prepare it for quality sleep and dreaming with these basic supplements:

    • A high dose multivitamin
    • A magnesium supplement
    • A fish oil supplement


    MegaFood One Daily MultivitaminMultivitamins

    This acts as a band aid for any nutritional deficiencies you may have. It will optimize functioning of your neurons and brain in general (remember the IQ study). The most popular multivitamin on Amazon is MegaFood One Daily.



    Nature Made High Potency Magnesium

    Magnesium is used in many places ranging from the brain to your muscles. And yet 68% of people get too little of it in their regular diet2. It has been dubbed the "relaxation mineral" and is used by many to promote calm and optimal brain function.

    Never get a magnesium oxide supplement. This is a cheap form and only 10% is actually absorbed by your body3. Besides, it'll just act as a laxative. Get the good stuff: Nature Made High Potency Magnesium.

    Signature Collection Omega-3 Fish OilFish oil

    Many people know that fish oil optimizes the brain. It's been used to improve concentration and capability to learn; in essence it contains building blocks for your brain. Try the bestselling Signature Collection Omega-3 Fish Oil.

    Lastly, the above supplements are intended for long term use. Take them daily. Only then consider additional lucid dream supplements.

    Ask yourself: would you install a nitro upgrade in a car that has been poorly maintained? That's what you're doing when you use dream supplements before getting the basics right.

    Supplements for Lucid Dreaming

    Now, back to lucid dreaming.

    Remember the stages of a lucid dream?

    • Awareness: "Something's off... I don't remember having a pet zebra."
    • Realization: "This must be a dream!"
    • Verification: Do a reality check before trying to fly.
    • Experience: Go to the moon. (Go there more often, it changes.)
    • Recollection: It's no use lucid dreaming if you don't remember it.

    The supplements we're looking at today can roughly be divided into classes:

    • Class I (weirding you out). There are a whole bunch of supplements that target stage 1 and 2 through a very simple mechanism: they make your dreams more bizarre. The more bizarre a dream gets, the easier it is to realize something is off.
    • Class II (giving you more time). These are supplements that increase the length of your REM cycles. These give you more dreams in general and so more opportunities to become lucid.


    In the diagram above, a Class II supplement would increase the number of REM peaks you see. In essence, it lifts the whole diagram up.

    Both classes help with recall as well. Class I just causes more memorable dream content, while Class II makes sure you don't sleep too deeply.

    A Cautionary Note

    Don't combine different lucid dream supplements unless you are sure you know what you're doing. Polypharmacy (taking multiple drugs / supplements at the same time) is very messy stuff.

    I once took Huperzine A (a herbal extract) and 5-HTP (a melatonin precursor) together. I woke up at 3am with mild visual distortions. As interesting as it was to see my walls covered on non-existent patterns, I suggest you don't take any risks as not all side effects may be this innocuous.

    Class I Supplements

    Three often (and effectively) used supplements are:

    Mostly these supplements do two things:

    • Suppress your dream sleep for subsequent REM rebound
    • Increase the bizarreness and intensity of your dreams

    Personally I'm not a big fan of Calea Z, only because it tastes disgusting as a tea. If you want to use it, get capsules as Rebecca recommends here.

    With Calea Z and nicotine, standard doses are the way to go.

    With melatonin, start with a standard dose and work up if you feel the need (but always stay within reasonable amounts).

    Melatonin appears to increase serotonin in the brain, leading to weirder dreams. It's been observed that people on SSRI antidepressant medication (which prolongs the action of serotonin in the brain) have longer and more vivid dreams for this reason.

    Neurochemical Affects on Mood

    Class II Supplements

    There are two often-used lucid dream supplements in this category, and they are actually really similar:

    Both of these two are acetylcholine esterase inhibitors. Yes I know, quite a mouthful.

    Acetylcholine Esterase Inhibitors (in a Nutshell)

    1. Acetylcholine

    Acetylcholine (Ach) is a neurotransmitter involved in cognitive performance, among other things. Alzheimer's patients are usually given medication to support Ach. It has effects with regards to:

    • Attention
    • Memory
    • The brain's reward system
    • REM sleep

    Increasing Ach in your brain can have a number of effects. When you're awake you get cognitive benefits like better memory and focus. When asleep, you experience more REM sleep and a different level of engagement in your dreams.

    Consider Ach as a gas pedal in the brain. It puts the brain in "processing" mode. The 4-hour-work-week blogger Tim Ferris occasionally uses Ach-boosting supplements to get away with sleeping very little. By increasing REM sleep he cheats himself out of the need to sleep longer, albeit temporarily.

    2. Acetylcholine esterase

    Ach esterase is an enzyme that puts Ach in its nonactive form. When Ach is used in the brain, the Ach esterase makes sure it's broken down and doesn't linger around to keep stuff active all the time. The thing is that we kind of want Ach to stick around so...

    3. Acetylcholine esterase inhibitors

    This is the last step. An Ach inhibitor stops acetylcholine esterase from functioning. Basically we stop the destroyer of Ach from destroying it. The result? More Ach for a longer time, leading to better memory, better focus and more REM sleep.


    CholineCholine is added to most galantamine supplements, especially for lucid dreaming. Yet it's a bit of a mystery compound. Many people use it, but few actually know what it does. This little miraculous substance:

    • Helps clean the liver
    • Supports brain development
    • Boosts brain function as a nootropic

    Some evidence also suggests it may help treat depression, high cholesterol and Alzheimer's Disease.

    The most intuitive theory is that it increases the production of acetylcholine (see the bolding there?) in the brain. In combination with an Ach esterase inhibitor it can add a boost to your lucid dreaming escapades.

    Dosage Overview

    Curious to play around with some lucid dream supplements yourself? I've created a little cheat sheet summarizing this article, and stating the most common dosages of these supplements. You'll find:

    • A bullet point summary
    • A table with dosages
    • Common warnings with the supplements

    Go ahead and get it here at my website.

    Mentor PalokajAbout The Guest Author

    Mentor Palokaj is a blogger and entrepreneur living in the Netherlands. With a passion for learning new things, he has developed the blog, Skill Collector.


    1. Schoenthaler SJ, Bier ID, Young K, Nichols D, Jansenns S. The effect of vitamin-mineral supplementation on the intelligence of American schoolchildren: a randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trial. J Altern Complement Med. 2000;6(1):19-29.

    2. King DE, Mainous III AG, Geesey ME, Woolson RF. Dietary magnesium and C-reactive protein levels. J Am Coll Nutr. 2005;24(3):166-171.

    3. Ranade V V, Somberg JC. Bioavailability and pharmacokinetics of magnesium after administration of magnesium salts to humans. Am J Ther. 2001;8(5):345-357.

    About The Author

    About The Author

    Rebecca Casale is a lucid dreamer and a science writer with a special interest in biology and the brain. She is the founder of World of Lucid Dreaming and Science Me.