3

votes

Vivid and epic dreaming? What's causing it??

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 03, 2012 at 6:13 PM

I'm new to paleo eating, it's been about a month and I've been blown away by all of the benefits and the rapid changes!

But I'm curious about vivid and epic dreaming. I've had really vivid and epic dreams almost every night on the paleo diet and I've heard from friends and family also on the diet that they've experienced changes in their dream states, so I'm wondering what causes them? What's going on inside the brain??

C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

(880)

on May 31, 2013
at 05:18 PM

See, that description made me WANT to take that combo :P

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on February 04, 2013
at 05:18 AM

Great description. I'm staying away from that combo!

D4d83e7981ca572aaaa19fc620bb54f1

(467)

on March 29, 2012
at 03:21 PM

Haha, ZMA + valerian = saving on movies!

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:48 AM

The brain is a mysterious thing, my friend. If you find out, please do share! I'm interested in that kind of stuff too but from the brief research I've done since reading your question, I have only found speculation.

8838443ac82e9f98e4ae9daf80d50eb5

(896)

on February 04, 2012
at 12:40 AM

I dreamt in cartoon the other night. This had never happened to prior to paleo. I heard taking vitamin B6 will induce vivid dreaming.

Ec39179d4c06199471827a706adb2896

(242)

on February 03, 2012
at 10:38 PM

What is LDN? Is that a supplement?

Ec39179d4c06199471827a706adb2896

(242)

on February 03, 2012
at 10:37 PM

Yeah, I absolutely agree with this (My ADHD has greatly improved), I'd just like to know what specific mechanisms are causing this!

Ec39179d4c06199471827a706adb2896

(242)

on February 03, 2012
at 10:33 PM

Haha thanks, but that's a good point!

Ec39179d4c06199471827a706adb2896

(242)

on February 03, 2012
at 10:33 PM

And no, it's not Natural Calm :-D

Ec39179d4c06199471827a706adb2896

(242)

on February 03, 2012
at 10:32 PM

I am very low carb now. Is that HGH then? Is there a study or some information I could read about that?

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on February 03, 2012
at 10:15 PM

Let me guess, is that mag supplement Natural Calm?

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on February 03, 2012
at 09:32 PM

Good for you! Just asking because I know quitting smoking often causes the same vivid dreams you described.

E2b72f1912f777917d8ee6b7fba43c26

(2384)

on February 03, 2012
at 08:45 PM

Sounds like HGH is going up during the night, which is normally inhibited by insulin. You're now pretty low carb aren't you?

Ec39179d4c06199471827a706adb2896

(242)

on February 03, 2012
at 08:22 PM

Interesting... But my problem isn't nightmares, just really vivid and epic dreams!

Ec39179d4c06199471827a706adb2896

(242)

on February 03, 2012
at 08:20 PM

Nope, smoke free!

Ec39179d4c06199471827a706adb2896

(242)

on February 03, 2012
at 08:20 PM

I take a magnesium supplement every now and again, but I've taken it before going Paleo and infrequently while I've been on Paleo. Also typically in the morning after I've already woken up!

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on February 03, 2012
at 06:28 PM

You don't take supplements? I get vivid dreams from ZMA...

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15 Answers

5
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on February 03, 2012
at 09:39 PM

I know as I get healthier, my sleep gets a lot better. Very vivid dreams can sometimes be associated with REM sleep, which is a good thing.

ZMA also gave me very vivid dreams, ZMA plus valerian root gave me weird, lucid, Scorcese having a baby with Kubrik kinda dreams.

D4d83e7981ca572aaaa19fc620bb54f1

(467)

on March 29, 2012
at 03:21 PM

Haha, ZMA + valerian = saving on movies!

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on February 04, 2013
at 05:18 AM

Great description. I'm staying away from that combo!

C6648ab69e5a1560c7585fe3ba7108fb

(880)

on May 31, 2013
at 05:18 PM

See, that description made me WANT to take that combo :P

2
11b7b7ba720a5cd43c74a0ef99a16adb

(3448)

on February 03, 2012
at 06:40 PM

I don't know about dreams in general, but I did run across a study that links nightmares with low cholesterol levels:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15999954

Ec39179d4c06199471827a706adb2896

(242)

on February 03, 2012
at 08:22 PM

Interesting... But my problem isn't nightmares, just really vivid and epic dreams!

1
Medium avatar

on February 03, 2012
at 10:49 PM

Is it possible going paleo has stimulated your dream life? Yes. The trick would be to identify which foods might be responsible. Bear in mind that a lifestyle shift like diet may shift your perspective and lead to a different mindset at bedtime. That is, making specific routine changes can and often do correlate with mental shifts, thus with dream life.

1
F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on February 03, 2012
at 10:47 PM

In one of Dr. Ray Peat's books -Generative Energy, he writes "dreams are closely associated with the chemical-physiological mobilization in response to low blood sugar". That might not be an exact quote -its from my notes, the book is at home. But to me that says, your dream more when you have low blood sugar.

1
Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

on February 03, 2012
at 09:20 PM

I've done some research and from what I've read, it seems as though while paleo is reworking your internal composition to adjust to the hunter/gatherer type, your brain is also being rewired. This clean diet can directly affect your mental health (i.e. depression, ADD), so why not our dreams? This makes sense to me.

Unhealthy foods not only cloud your body but they also directly affect your mind. By becoming more healthy and clean, your brain is benefiting from this new, clean state.

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on February 04, 2012
at 01:48 AM

The brain is a mysterious thing, my friend. If you find out, please do share! I'm interested in that kind of stuff too but from the brief research I've done since reading your question, I have only found speculation.

Ec39179d4c06199471827a706adb2896

(242)

on February 03, 2012
at 10:37 PM

Yeah, I absolutely agree with this (My ADHD has greatly improved), I'd just like to know what specific mechanisms are causing this!

1
E286e6ba6ef6c4c4a31a749e59aa57e1

on February 03, 2012
at 08:24 PM

LDN gives me incredible dreams.

Ec39179d4c06199471827a706adb2896

(242)

on February 03, 2012
at 10:38 PM

What is LDN? Is that a supplement?

0
4debe57f81d507bcb844f10b2ef38a83

(398)

on June 01, 2013
at 03:48 PM

Have you recently stopped taking any medications? There are quite a few that suppress REM sleep. Benedryl and Nyquil are the two that I have had experience with. If I take one of them for, say, a week, I don't dream as much during that week. When I stop taking it suddenly, I might experience two or three nights where my dreams are extraordinarily vivid and sometimes very unpleasant. Not sure, but I suspect that suddenly changing your alcohol intake might have this effect too.

The earlier comments on the overall impact of diet on sleep make sense to as well.

0
7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

on June 01, 2013
at 03:13 PM

Maybe dehydration from lower carb, higher salt maybe?

0
A048b66e08306d405986b6c04bf5e8e4

on June 01, 2013
at 04:23 AM

I heard that high intake of B vitamins can cause very vivid dreams, and paleo is very high in B vitamins

0
0e0d0b436d6ab35ca8bf49c90faea490

on May 31, 2013
at 05:15 PM

My dreaming foods: Beef in super burrito or taco, turkey, kidney beans, pinto beans, red lentils, peanut butter, peanuts, eggs - scrambled or boiled, tuna canned in water, boiled egg yolk only (no whites), chicken - boiled, sunflower seeds, garlic, parsley - fresh raw, raw green cabbage, lightly pasteurized milk, pickles. If these foods fail to make me dream, it may be due to constipation or an irregular sleep schedule, which can be adjusted, then dreaming comes back. I feel better when I dream than when I don't.

0
F54a16e4caf4dc8da9ef1369f46a95cd

(591)

on February 04, 2013
at 04:56 AM

I started supplementing Vitamin D around the same time I went Paleo and immediately noticed how my dreams were.. different. Hard to describe. Just different. I attribute it to the Vitamin D, but I'm sure eating clean has something to do with it as well.

0
Aa1f07e23a47aed0d07b712645e0d213

(313)

on February 03, 2012
at 11:17 PM

Actually, a bad diet can give you very vivid dreams as well. A bad diet can also cause loss of dream memory and cloudy dreams, but it can and will begin to cause vivid dreams because the body is extra alert trying to process all of the bad food it is eating. One bad food night can certainly do this.

Your body is probably reacting because it has begun to receive proper nutrition and is free from many toxins interfering with the body now. This means now the brain is active as it should be and you are receiving a normal dream state.

This could also be though your body is in distress because it is used to a high calorie, high carb diet, or other food toxin that it became chemically attached too.

But this is probably a good sign: and remember if you haven't started out perfect, as I and most haven't, then life is going to be a never-ending process for repair and there will be random fluctuations. But the the point is you have learned and are doing the right thing.

0
3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

on February 03, 2012
at 10:14 PM

Sounds like Natural Calm to me. Who else experienced vivid dreaming while taking Natural Calm? Also, remember that certain prescription drugs promote vivid dreaming. For example, Chantix.

0
Bece741db5f5fed6bafa12e3548f973f

(715)

on February 03, 2012
at 08:21 PM

I had the same thing happen when I first went on Topamax for my migraines. That was prior to the diet.

I'm sure there are changes that occur in the brain. I know that since I started the diet my executive functioning during the day has improved greatly. I also get a very good quality sleep all night. Over my entire lifetime I've always woke up at a pin drop type noise, had a rough time shaking the stress and sleeping well. This is heavenly for me.

Wish I could give you a better answer. Seems to me that I'd give it some time. Might level off after awhile.

0
Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

on February 03, 2012
at 07:54 PM

Do you smoke? Or have you recently quit smoking?

Ec39179d4c06199471827a706adb2896

(242)

on February 03, 2012
at 08:20 PM

Nope, smoke free!

Ebcbbdcb8b727e69e06eaa102d49a84c

(1804)

on February 03, 2012
at 09:32 PM

Good for you! Just asking because I know quitting smoking often causes the same vivid dreams you described.

Ec39179d4c06199471827a706adb2896

(242)

on February 03, 2012
at 10:33 PM

Haha thanks, but that's a good point!

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