Dream potentiation

Dream potentiation is an effect that increases the subjective intensity, vividness, and frequency of sleeping dream states. [1] [2] This effect also results in dreams having a more complex and cohesive plot with a higher level of detail and definition. [2] Additionally, the effect causes a greatly increased likelihood of them becoming lucid dreams.

Dream potentiation is most commonly induced under the influence of moderate dosages of oneirogenic compounds, a class of hallucinogen that is used to specifically potentiate dreams when taken before sleep. [3] However, it can also occur as a residual side effect from falling asleep under the influence of an extremely wide variety of substances. At other times, it can occur as a relatively persistent effect that has arisen as a symptom of hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD).


There have been hundreds of studies in which cholinomemetics have been applied locally or systematically to the medial pontine reticular formation to induce and enhance the generation of REM sleep. [4] Some cholinergic drugs induce REM sleep while others potentiate REM sleep. [2] [5] [6] [7] [8] However, there is conflicting evidence on whether this effect is limited to people with depression. [7] [8] [9] [10] Aminergic drugs, such as serotonin and/or norepinephrine reuptake inhibiting antidepressants, suppress REM sleep. [2] [11] [12] Non-antidepressant drugs, including amphetamines, barbiturates and narcotics, did not show large and persistent reductions in REM sleep followed by a rebound. [13]


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