If you want to remember your dreams, taking vitamin B6 supplements before going to bed may help, suggests new research from University of Adelaide in Australia.
"Our results show that taking vitamin B6 improved people's ability to recall dreams compared to a placebo," said study co-author Denholm Aspy from the University's School of Psychology.
The study, published online in the journal Perceptual and Motor Skills, included 100 participants from around Australia taking high-dose vitamin B6 supplements before going to bed for five consecutive days.
"Vitamin B6 did not affect the vividness, bizarreness or colour of their dreams, and did not affect other aspects of their sleep patterns," Aspy said.
"This is the first time that such a study into the effects of vitamin B6 and other B vitamins on dreams has been carried out on a large and diverse group of people," Aspy added.
The participants in the study took 240mg of vitamin B6 immediately before bed.
Prior to taking the supplements, many of the participants rarely remembered their dreams, but they reported improvements by the end of the study.
"It seems as time went on my dreams were clearer and clearer and easier to remember. I also did not lose fragments as the day went on," said one of the participants after completing the study.
Vitamin B6 occurs naturally in various foods, including whole grain cereals, legumes, fruits (such as banana and avocado), vegetables (such as spinach and potato), milk, cheese, eggs, red meat, liver, and fish.
Emphasising the importance of using dreaming time more productively, the researchers said that the average person spends around six years of their lives dreaming.
"If we are able to become lucid and control our dreams, we can then use our dreaming time more productively," Aspy said.
Lucid dreaming, where you know that you are dreaming while the dream is still happening, 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," Aspy added.
"In order to have lucid dreams it is very important to first be able to recall dreams on a regular basis. This study suggests that vitamin B6 may be one way to help people have lucid dreams," Aspy added.