Can you take galantamine every night to have more lucid dreams? And is it safe or wise to do so?
When you take the memory supplement, galantamine, after about 4.5 of sleep, you will be more likely to have a lucid dream when you return back to sleep for an early morning nap. It works best if it is ingested during a 30 minute period of sleep interruption, and should be combined with mental induction techniques in order to work.
Since proper galantamine usage gives you good odds of lucid dreaming, you may be curious how often you can take it.
If galantamine isn’t contraindicated for you (See my previous post for more information), it may be alright to use fairly frequently, and possibly even on consecutive nights. In fact, many people safely take the standard 8 mg dose of galantamine three times per day every day for the memory decline seen in older ages. But this doesn’t mean it is the best idea to take galantamine all the time to help you lucid dream.
Taking galantamine frequently—let’s say you try taking it nightly for a period or you take it most nights of the week—can increase your chances of side effects like nausea, dry mouth, trouble falling or staying asleep, or poor sleep quality. Plus, if you aren’t sleeping well when you are supposed to be in REM sleep, the stage most associated with lucidity, it could defeat the purpose of trying to lucid dream.
Taking galantamine every night for a period of time would also have an effect of the substance building up in your system, given its half-life. Although this could further increase chances of lucid dreaming, it could also increase your chance of experiencing adverse effects. On the other hand, you might also become tolerant of galantamine if you take it daily for a prolonged period so that your chance of lucidity reduces. This hasn't yet been studied in lucid dreamers, but the side effects of dream recall and vividness (which are related to lucidity) do tend to occur less over a cholinergic treatment course, suggesting the possibility of tolerance.
Most importantly, you should remember that it is challenging to devote the mental energy to induce a lucid dream every night, particularly if you have a busy schedule or have trouble getting sufficient, quality sleep. So if you do not have a highly focused mind for recognizing the dream state, galantamine isn’t likely to work and may just give you intense and bizarre dreams, nightmares, or side effects, which wouldn’t be productive or pleasant.
On the other hand, a well-planned, time-limited schedule of regular or frequent galantamine use, such as taking it nightly when you are on retreat, could be instrumental in growing your lucid dreaming practice.
Still, taking galantamine every night to lucid dream for an indefinite period of time would not be recommended (unless your doctor prescribes this to you).
The aforementioned is not intended as medical advice. Ultimately, it is best to talk to your doctor about how often you should take galantamine, if you should be taking it at all.
As you can see, there are a number of factors to weigh when deciding how often you’d like to take galantamine for lucid dreaming. Overall, galantamine should be taken only when you are motivated to lucid dream, you have sufficient opportunity for sleep (e.g. 7-9 hours), and you have a strong focus to put toward lucid dreaming through mental induction and dream recall practices.
Though galantamine is not required to increase your chances of lucid dreaming, it can certainly give you more traction in the dreamworld. Learn more here.
LaBerge, S., LaMarca, K., & Baird, B.J. (2018). Pre-sleep treatment with galantamine stimulates lucid dreaming: A double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. PLOS ONE, 13(8). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0201246