B6 and Dreams

What effect does B6 have on dreams?

Participants in a double-blind 2002 study demonstrated that taking 250 mg of B6 over a placebo caused a significant difference in dream content, as rated by the participants, in the following areas:

  • dream vividness
  • bizarreness
  • emotionality
  • color

How much B6 should I take to effect my dreams?

Research results show taking 250 mg of B6 as an effective amount to have an influence on dreams.
 
People describing their own research with B6 on message boards and forums dedicated to dreaming have described results from amounts in the range of 50mg to 500mg.

What is the recommended daily allowance of B6?

The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine has set the tolerable upper intake level (UL) for Vitamin B6 at 100 mg a day for adults.
 

What are the risks of taking too much B6?

Toxic effects of too much B6 include:

  • Sensory Neuropathy: “Symptoms include pain and numbness of the extremities, and in severe cases difficulty walking. Sensory neuropathy typically develops at doses of pyridoxine in excess of 1,000 mg per day. However, there have been a few case reports of individuals who developed sensory neuropathies at doses of less than 500 mg daily over a period of months”
  • Increased Dream Recall: Interestingly enough, one source on B6 refers to its effects on dreams in relation to toxicity, writing “in moderate toxicity (B6 produces) an increased (capacity for) dream recall.”

How much is too much?

General guidelines for taking B6 for its effects on dreams must be balanced with common sense. Consider the following information:

  • Taking more than 500 mg per a day for an extended period of time is associated with the development of sensory neuropathy.
  • The upper limit as recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine is 100 mg per day.
  • Participants in the B6 dreams study took 250 mg of b6 a day for 3 days.
  • Users on forums and message boards writing about taking B6 for its effects on dreams tend to report taking an amount between 100-500 mg.

It’s important to note that you should not repeatedly take high doses for an extended period time. Taking a B6 supplement between 100-500 mg for a few nights, and then stopping for weeks or months, is generally considered a safe method of taking B6 for its effects on dreams.
 
Disclaimer: this is not intended to replace medical advice from a doctor. Concerns about too much B6 should be addressed by a medical professional.

Under what mechanism does B6 influence the dream?

A study on B6 and dreams reports the following:

“The data for dream salience suggests that Vitamin B-6 may act by increasing cortical arousal during periods of rapid eve movement (REM) sleep. An hypothesis is presented involving the role of B-6 in the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin.”

What is tryptophan?

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid which the body metabolizes into serotonin and niacin.
 
Tryptophan is found in abundance in shrimp, soy sauce, tuna, spinach, soybeans, eggs, bananas, shellfish, turkey, red meat, nuts, and seeds.
 
Low levels of tryptophan is associated with poor dream recall.

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