Dreaming with Supplements – Galantamine

The effects of Galantamine and Galantamine-based supplements on my lucid dreaming attempts

Galantamine is considered THE most effective supplement for lucid dreaming. A lot is already written on what’s, why’s and how’s so I won’t get into details here (for anyone interested, there is a great article on the subject by Ryan Hurd on DreamStudies.org) and I’ll just focus on my personal experiences.

I first came across with this supplement back in 2006 when I got my hands on Thomas Yuschak’s “Advanced Lucid Dreaming – The Power of Supplements” (2006, Lulu Enterprises). Since I was a newbie in lucid dreaming back then and I was facing all the obstacles beginners usually face (lousy dream recall which led to no success with achieving lucid dreams which led to lack of motivation; lack of discipline was probably also one of the major obstacles), I was looking for a “quick fix” and Galantamine seemed to be just that. I found a guy who was also interested in experimenting with supplements, we placed an order and not long after that I was able to make my first supplement-supported lucid dreaming attempt.

What I initially wanted to do here is some kind of a “case study”; I wanted to get a general perspective on the effects of Galantamine and Galantamine-based supplements on my lucid dreaming attempts from this analysis. As soon as I began I discovered that things aren’t going to be that simple, because I overlooked a couple of not-so-minor details:

  • I’ve been experimenting with (three) different types of Galantamine-based supplements. Even though they all contain 4 mg of Galantamine as a basis, they also include other supplements in varying quantities.
  • Number of attempts with each Galantamine-based supplement type varies.
  • Even if I took a single Galantamine-based supplement type, I often added different quantities of other supplements as well.
  • Sometimes I experimented with different types of Galantamine-based supplements at the same time (plus I often added other supplements as well to “spice things up”).

That said it should be obvious that “general statistics” were impossible to extract but I did learn a thing or two in the process anyway.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that my intention is not to promote any of the discussed supplements or to encourage their use, nor am I in any connection with the distributers and/or suppliers. As far as I know, other Galantamine-based supplements can be found as well, but I’ll just focus on the ones I’ve been working with.

General overview

Following are the supplements I used to boost my dreams and increase the odds of becoming aware within them.

1. Galantamine-based supplements

Supplement Name

Supplement Facts

Brilliant Dreams

50 mg Vitamin B + 4 mg Galantamine + 100 mg Choline + 0.5 mg Melatonin

DreamScape

4 mg Galantamine + 3 mg Melatonin

Lucid Dreamer

4 mg Galantamine + 200 mg Choline

2. Other supplements

Supplement Name

Supplement Facts

Yohimbine

5.4 mg

Alpha-GPC

300 mg or 600 mg

L-theanine

200 mg or 500 mg

Piracetam

800 mg

Melatonin

3 mg

I will begin my “analysis” with some numbers and charts. Over the period of 6 years (between the years 2006 and 2012) I’ve made a total of 219 attempts (121 attempts with Galantamine-based supplements only, 98 attempts with Galantamine-based + other supplements). Out of 219 attempts, 7 times I was only a step away and 51 attempts were successful – supplements have helped me in becoming aware within a dream. The percentage of successful attempts was a little higher with the use of Galantamine-based supplements alone (53%) which is probably due to the effects of the additional supplements. For example: Yohimbine, when used in very small doses (approximately 1/8 of the 5.4 mg pill), also seems to have given Galantamine an extra boost, while larger doses haven’t produced any worthwhile results. Also, the use of L-theanine seems to decrease the chances of lucidity, although it provides a more restful sleep.

Dream Type

Number of attempts

Percentage

LD

51

23%

Non-LD*

168

77%

  * 20 out of 168 non-LD (12%) were False Awakenings

Success rate of Galantamine-based LD attempts

The first thing I have to say is that even though Galantamine did significantly improve my ability of recalling dreams and it obviously did increase the probability of becoming aware within them (one out of almost four isn’t bad at all), there are some downsides as well.

One of the most notable things is that with the increased dream vividness dreams can appear almost life-like and are therefore often hard to identify as dreams. Making reality testing a habit would probably increase the odds but since that was not the case with my attempts I guess that could be the reason why “only” 23% of all attempts were successful. Also, dream plots often get quite bizarre – chasing, running and sexual contents take a large part in Galantamine-supported dreams so if you’re not prone of nightmarish or sexually-related dreams you should probably reconsider taking this supplement.

Another thing worth mentioning is the occurrences of false awakenings. As I mentioned before, 20 out of 168 non-lucid dreams (12%) were false awakenings. I noticed that they can occur either before or after the Galantamine-supported dream (i.e. in the beginning or at the end of sleep cycle / dream) which can be considered a major downside. Not knowing whether you’re awake or still asleep can be rather unpleasant, especially if you’re a novice to this kind of experiences.

Let’s have a look at dosages. In my attempts I’ve been taking different quantities of Galantamine-based supplements, varying from 1 to 3 capsules (4 to 12 mg of Galantamine). Following are my own observations and might not apply to others but can be taken into consideration if you decide to give Galantamine a try.

  1. Dosage of 4 mg appears to be insufficient as a LD trigger (success rate 14% – 5/36 attempts).
  2. Dosage of 12 mg doesn’t increase the probability of a LD (success rate 16% – 6/38 attempts). It does, on the other hand, increase the bizarreness of the dream.
  3. Highest probability of success (meaning: becoming aware within a dream) is 8 mg (success rate 28% – 40/145 attempts).

Another thing I noticed is that Galantamine works best if not taken before going to bed but after a Wake-Back-To-Bed instead. That could also be considered as a factor for my success rate – I’ve taken it quite a few times before the sleep onset before I figured this out. So, if you’re thinking about taking it, I’d suggest you meditate before bed, recapitulate your day, relax, then set your alarm clock for after 4-5 hours and go to sleep. After the alarm wakes you up, take some time to reflect on your dreams, write them down, read some dream-related stuff or do whatever stimulates your mind for about 15-30 minutes, then take your Galantamine and hit the bed again and there’s a great chance you’re up for a lucid adventure or at least a memorable experience.

As I already mentioned, I made my experiments with three different types of Galantamine-based supplements. Following is the table displaying the number of attempts with each supplement type and the number of lucid dreams by each supplement. 

Application by Supplement Type

Count

LD

Success Rate

Brilliant Dreams

95

20

21%

DreamScape

28

6

21%

Lucid Dreamer

88

24

27%

DreamScape + Lucid Dreamer Combo

8

1

13%

It would appear that the most effective Galantamine-based supplement is Lucid Dreamer with a 27% success rate and the least effective is DreamScape + Lucid Dreamer combo with only 13% success rate. I suspect that it’s due to content of Melatonin in DreamScape which in most cases increases the overall quality of sleep but reduces the ability of recalling dreams in general. I’ve come to similar observations when experimenting with Melatonin (3 mg per attempt) alone – I slept throughout most of the night and could only recall the contents of the last sleep cycle / dream, even though I usually wake up as often as 5 times per night with pretty good dream recall.

To sum this up: According to my own experiences I can definitely agree that Galantamine and Galantamine-based supplements do in fact influence the ability of one’s dream recall and significantly increase the chances of becoming aware within them, but as you see, there are some things to keep in mind. Even though I’ve experimented with different kinds of supplements I never noticed any side effects other than occasional feeling of heavy head, but that either dissolved on its own or I swayed it off with an 800 mg Piracetam after awakening. Nevertheless, my suggestion would be that you do your homework and research the subject before throwing yourself in experimentation head-on. And last but not least, Galantamine is NOT a “magic pill” that you could just pop before going to bed and dream lucidly all night long. It is however an interesting supplement worth trying out if you’re interested in this kind of dream work.

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