Niacin a Lucid Dreaming Supplement?
For anyone who knows me, I have been on this bandwagon for the use of niacin to help improve sleep. The reasons for it is because I always felt better after using niacin. It seemed to have helped me get to sleep quicker than I normally would fall asleep and would make me just sleep harder and longer. I also had documented cases of having lucid dreams with the use of niacin. I always asked myself why is this? What is causing me to sleep quicker with niacin? Is it just a placebo effect taking place? Let’s answer some of those questions.
Niacin and Its Effects
Niacin is a supplement that you can buy at the local food market. It’s also another name for a vitamin B-3 and essential vitamins for humans to operate correctly. It’s very important in humans because niacin does a lot of good things for us. It’s closely involved in the immune system and the histamine reactions that protect our body in some situations. There are some deeper things about niacin that you can’t read on Wikipedia and how this simple vitamin is affecting our sleep.
Today there are two types of niacin supplements you can take. You can take flush and non-flush niacin. If you have never experienced a niacin flush, the flush is experienced as a warm tingling feeling that goes through your body and makes you itch like no buddies business. The reason we now have non-flush niacin is that niacin is used to treat high blood pressure and older individuals not really care much for the flush. The flush however annoying it is, is the reason that I use the flushed based niacin.
A niacin flush releases a compound called Prostaglandin D2 or PGD2. PGD2 is related to hair loss which is why if you do a quick search for it, people are often talking about reducing the amount of PGD2 in their system, oddly enough I think that’s because they don’t encounter enough niacin flushes, but that’s beside the point. What is interesting about PGD2 is that it induces sleep. This has been shown over and over again in studies done on animals and injections of PGD2.
Prostaglandin (PG) D2 is one of the most active endogenous sleep-promoting substances, which induces physiological sleep in rodents, primates, and most probably in humans as well. – article link
PGD2 is considered the most likely reason that we sleep as it controls our wake-sleep cycle. I am not sure exactly still how a niacin flush releases the PGD2 into our system, but it does.
Not only is it shown in laboratories that PGD2 injections cause animals and most likely humans to fall asleep, the effects of a niacin flush are very closely related to the effects of those who are trying to promote lucid dreams. A niacin flush causes an itchy feeling over the body and face. This is also experienced during an obe from the direct method. There is also a warm feeling that starts from the stomach and spreads out all over the body with a niacin flush, the same is true with lucid dreams. Also when using niacin I reported a buzzing sensation that could also be audible. Again the same is true with lucid dreams.
Sensations felt during a lucid dream and with the use of niacin:
- Ringing in the ears
- Tinging sensations in the face and chest
- Heaviness all over the body
- Vibrations that radiate all over the body
- Warm feeling
Not a Miracle Worker
I am not saying that a niacin flush can make a person have lucid dreams, rather that it can aid a person to experience them. I have had great success in the use of niacin but also have used niacin and had no results at all. The best case situation with niacin is to use the flush as a boost to get you into the relaxation and meditation state that you need in order to get to the next level. I have had the most success when I was continuing a good practice of doing all the normal steps required to have a lucid dream and then used niacin on top of that. There are also other supplements that can help you get into the lucid dream stage faster such as REM suppressants like galantamine. I would believe that a combination of niacin and a REM suppressant would result in an even higher success rate.
Niacin Use as a Sleep Aid
If you are not trying to obtain a lucid dream, you can use niacin to induce sleep very quickly. I have personally used niacin as a sleep aid when I have troubles going to bed and it has worked great. Take niacin before going to bed but not too long that you will be moving around while the flush happens. Lay down on your bed and relax and don’t move. The more you move the more you will feel the itchy feeling that will flow through your body. After the itching starts to fade, just relax and try to go to bed. Meditation techniques will also help you in this process. Remember that sometimes the body is just not ready for sleep and forcing yourself can just be a waste of your time. Heres a small guide to help you get better sleep at night.
I would personally like to hear about your experiences with niacin if it helped you get better sleep. Please let me know in the comments and I would be glad to hear about your experiences. I will personally continue to look at niacin very closely and see how it can help me reach a higher state of consciousness.
Lee Adams is a Ph.D. candidate in Jungian Psychology and Archetypal Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute and host of Cosmic Echo, a lucid dreaming podcast, and creator of taileaters.com, an online community of lucid dreamers and psychonauts. Lee has been actively researching, practicing, and teaching lucid dreaming for over twenty years.
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