This galantamine product is galantamine hydrobromide with no other additives (many lucid dreaming mixes include B-vitamins and choline, which sometimes can increase sleeplessness).
Galantamine is extracted from the Snowdrop plant (Galanthus nivalis) and the red spider lily (Lycoris radiata). The resulting compound is galanthamine hydrobromide.
Taking 8 mg of galantamine at the proper time may provide a 5.8X greater likelihood of having a lucid dream according to a double blind and placebo controlled study (LaBerge and LaMarca, 2012)
More generally, galantamine has been shown to promote dreaming sleep. Specifically, the compound acts immediately to increase the duration of REM sleep, and the dream state is made more structurally sound (Riemann et al, 1994).
Retrospective research determined that users of galantamine report that the supplement elongates their dreams, as well as makes the dreams more vivid and with less negative and violent content (Sparrow et al. 2016).
Galantamine and its derivatives were approved by the FDA in 2001, and is largely used as a memory-improvement supplement for sufferers of Alzheimers disease and mild dementia. In 2003, Stephen Laberge applied for a patent for the use of cholinesterase inhibitors like galantamine to promote lucid dreaming (he did not receive this patent because plants cannot be patented).
Only recently has the substance been used as an oneirogen, or a dream enhancing supplement.
Side Effects and contraindications
Galantamine is labeled as “safe” by the FDA but it does have some unwanted side effects for some people, some of the time. Best practice is to not take galantamine on an empty stomach, but to take it with a small snack, such as bread or rice.
Side effects can include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia (loss of appetite), and weight loss.
Galantamine may interfere with drugs with anticholinergic properties and which cross the blood/brain barrier, such as atropine, benztropine (Cogentin), and trihexyphenidyl (Arcane).
The following medical issues have been documented to be irritated or worsened by the use of galantamine: asthma, lung diseases, epilepsy or history of seizures, heart problems, including slow heartbeat or heart murmur, kidney and/or liver problems, stomach ulcer, and urinary tract problems. Do not take galantamine if you have these health conditions.
Dosage for Dream Enhancement
Recommended dosage for dream enhancement is: 4 – 8 mg.
Taken orally, the galantamine supplement is active and at full strength within an hour of ingestion. The half-life is about 7 hours.
Take the supplement in the middle of the night to take advantage of the longer REM (dreaming sleep) cycles that occur in the second half of the night. Keep in mind, taking the pill immediately before you go to bed can be counter-productive, and may result in unpleasant experiences, including possibly sleep paralysis (harmless, but not fun).
Recommendation: Combine with Mental Practices
Galantamine should be handled with care and with a healthy respect, just as for all oneirogens, and all mind-altering substances in general.
As they say, set and setting. Know why you want to be more lucid, and mentally prepare yourself for the journey.
Don’t just pop the pill and flop down to bed after watching a horror movie or after a night of drinking. Instead, prepare for sleep mindfully, perhaps by listening to relaxing music before bed, or by journaling about what you want to do when you realize you are dreaming.
The effects of galantamine can be increased if you combine the supplement with some kind of regular meditation or mindfulness practice.
Duvoisin, RC., Plaitakis A. (1983). Homer’s moly identified as Galanthus nivalis L.: physiologic antidote to stramonium poisoning. Clinical Neuropharmacology, March; 6(1), p. 1-5.
LaBerge, S. (2003). Substances that enhance recall and lucidity during dreaming, United States Patent Application 604138.
La Marca, K. and Laberge, S. (2012). Pre-sleep treatment with galantamine increases the likelihood of lucid dreaming. Poster session, presented June 25, 2012 at the Annual conference for the International Association for the Study of Dreams, Berkeley, CA.
Sparrow, G., Carlson, R., and Hurd, R. (2016). Assessing the Perceived Differences in Post-Galantamine Lucid Dreams vs. Non-Galantamine Lucid Dreams. International Journal of Dream Research 9(1): April 2016.
Riemann, D., Gann, H. Dressing, H., Muller W., Aldenhoff, J. (1994). Influence of the cholinesterase inhibitor galanthamine hydrobromide on normal sleep. Psychiatry Research, 51 (3), p. 253-267.