Anecdotal evidence indicates that supplementation with vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) before bed can enhance dream vividness and recall. In a single pilot study, Ebben, Lequerica, and Spielman (2002) found that vitamin B6 had a dose-dependent effect of increasing scores on a composite measure of dream vividness, bizarreness, emotionality, and color. The present research replicated this study using a larger and more diverse sample of 100 participants from across Australia. We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation of the effects on dreaming and sleep of ingesting 240 mg vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride) before bed for five consecutive days. We also included an exploratory condition involving a B complex preparation containing a range of B vitamins. We found that vitamin B6 significantly increased the amount of dream content participants recalled but did not significantly affect dream vividness, bizarreness, or color, nor did it significantly affect other sleep-related variables. In contrast, participants in the B complex group showed significantly lower self-rated sleep quality and significantly higher tiredness on waking. We discuss the potential for using vitamin B6 in research on lucid dreaming.
Keywords: dreaming; methodology; sleep; vitamin B6; vitamin supplementation.