Galantamine is a very potent supplement, aimed at the boosting of ACh (acetylcholine) levels and through it, promoting dreaming in general and lucid dreaming in particular.
The fact that galantamine can trigger lucid dreaming is a scientific fact.
In addition to its AChE-inhibiting action, galantamine is also an ACh agonist, meaning that its boosting action upon the neurotransmitter is a double edged one.
What are galantamine’s exact effects on dreaming though and how much should you take?
What is galantamine?
Available under brand names such as Reminyl, Razadyne and Nivalin, galantamine is medication used to support the memory, when affected by conditions such as mild forms of Alzheimer’s disease and the confusion that it brings about. While galantamine is not a cure for such diseases, it can be used to manage their symptoms, by improving awareness and memory.
Extracted from the flowers and bulbs of Galanthus caucasicus (snowdrop flower) as well as from daffodils, the active substance in galantamine can be replicated artificially.
Therefore, it is safe to say that the galantamine you will be taking for your dream enhancement, will probably be of a synthetic nature.
The acetylcholinesterase-inhibiting properties of galantamine have been known since the 1950s, though it is safe to say that mankind always had a sort of a “hunch” in this regard. A flower much like snowdrop has been described in Greek mythology, provided by the god Hermes to Odysseus, to stave off the effects of drugs.
In addition to Alzheimer’s and dream enhancement, galantamine is used for the treatment of muscular dystrophy, as well as several disorders of the central nervous system.
Is galantamine safe?
The problem with galantamine is that it is rather poorly tolerated by the organism, although the side effects it produces are limited, and they subside relatively quickly.
In regards to its safety, all I really need to say though that it is FDA-approved, precisely for the treatment of mild dementia.
In regards to dream enhancement, the supplement does not come with such an official nod.
A typical approach to upping the daily dosage of the user is to gradually move from 4 mg taken twice a day, to 8 mg taken twice a day and then to 16 mg taken twice a day, for a total max of 24 mg per day.
The user needs to spend a minimum of 4 weeks on each dose, before moving to a higher one. If – for some reason – the treatment is interrupted for more than 3 days, it needs to be started over.
While most of galantamine is metabolized in the liver, it has apparently never caused liver injury in any shape or form.
Galantamine is available in several serving-types, including twice-a-day oral capsules, once-a-day capsules with delayed release and oral solutions.
While rather frequent, the side effects elicited by this supplement are mild. Nausea, diarrhea and vomiting are among them, though – as said above – these problems subside as the body gets used to the supplement (or to a higher dose). Other, less frequent side effects include seizures, bladder blockage, bleeding stomach and intestines and slow heart rate.
How does galantamine work for dreams and lucid dreaming?
Now that I’ve covered what galantamine is and how it has to be dosed, it’s time to take a look at its effects on dreams in general and on lucid dreaming in particular. Let us not forget about astral projection either, because there are indications that galantamine may indeed be effective for that too.
As a powerful AChE-inhibitor and ACh agonist, galantamine will indeed massively boost your ACh levels, thus prolonging REM sleep stages and bringing about more numerous and more vivid dreams.
Galantamine works: there is absolutely no doubt in my mind about that, but given its potency (as said above, its ACh-boosting is a two-pronged and thus doubly effective affair), care should be exercised with its timing.
To make a long story short: galantamine should NOT be taken right before hitting the sack. You do not want it to boost your ACh levels during your first 4-5 hours of sleep. During that time, you need to keep your ACh low, and you can accomplish that by boosting your serotonin, through 5-HTP.
ACh-boosting supplements, such as galantamine, need to be taken after 4-5 hours of sleep, to properly work their magic.
To understand how much of the galantamine you take is absorbed and how quickly it reaches peak levels in your blood, you need to understand a few concepts related to the way your body handles such chemicals.
Bioavailability is the amount of active substance in a supplement which actually makes it into the bloodstream and goes on to elicit the effects it is supposed to. In the case of galantamine, bioavailability is extremely good, at 80-100%, a fact that explains the relatively low doses required to elicit the said effects
Time to peak plasma levels describes the amount of time it takes for an orally taken supplement to make it into your bloodstream and reach maximum concentration there. From this point onward, the concentration of the active substance shall decrease, until it is completely eliminated from the bloodstream.
Galantamine reaches peak plasma levels very quickly, which means the body takes it up extremely swiftly after ingestion. What this also means is that if you take the supplement after 4-5 hours of sleep – as specified above – you won’t need to wait too much for it to enter your bloodstream and to begin boosting you ACh.
With that in mind, it is clear that galantamine is great for WILD (slipping into a lucid dream directly from a conscious state), and by extension, it can indeed be great for astral projection and OBEs in general.
The biological half life of an active substance describes the time it takes its concentration in the bloodstream to halve. In galantamine’s case, this period is 7 hours, which means that traces of it will be present in your blood as many as 48 hours after ingestion.
As I’ve already discussed galantamine’s mechanism of action, it’s time to take a closer look at how it acts upon dreams.
How does galantamine affect dreaming?
From my personal perspective, the effects of galantamine on dreams are unquestionable. Dreams become more vivid and easier to remember. They seem to go on and on too.
With that in mind, I would indeed recommend galantamine as one of the top supplements you can use for lucid dreaming. It works superbly in combination with 5-HTP (with the latter taken right before going to bed, and the former after 4-5 hours of sleep).
Due to the nature of galantamine, there are a few things you will have to bear in mind if you decide on taking the supplement.
Under normal circumstances, the dreams induced by galantamine are pleasant and very much enjoyable. As said above though, the active substance of the supplement takes some 48 hours to completely clear your system, which means 2 full days.
If you happen to take a second dose of galantamine before the first one is flushed out completely, a compounding effect will occur, which will distort the quality of your dreams too.
Piling up too much galantamine in your system this way will lead to some potentially nightmarish experiences, and that is something I prefer to steer well clear of. After all, as dream chasers, we are in the business of exploring an added dimension of life and not of torturing ourselves.
The way to avoid this problem is obviously to wait for more than 2 days after each galantamine use.
Another subtle problem you need to consider in regards to the prolonged use of this supplement is desensitization. Desensitization is essentially a coping mechanism on the part of your body, which adapts (gets used to) the supplement, thus decreasing its efficiency.
In early stages, desensitization can be compensated for through the upping of the dosage, but that’s a one-way street to total inefficiency. With galantamine, you can use Piracetam though, to counter desensitization. Coupled with responsible use, this approach can indeed work in the long-run.
Piracetam counters the effects of galantamine, so it should only be used after a lucid dream attempt. Using it beforehand will defeat the whole exercise.
As far as dream-related side effects go, galantamine tends to make me quite groggy in the morning – as I’ve already pointed it out in my Huperzine A piece. It definitely has a negative impact on the quality of sleep as far as I’m concerned. Whether this is a widespread side-effect, I cannot tell though.
Galantamine and choline
A supplement which works exceptionally well with galantamine is choline. Choline is an ACh booster, just like galantamine, though its effects are attained in a different way, one that actually complements the effects of galantamine, making it much more potent.
Indeed, if you are taking galantamine for dream enhancement, it is highly recommended that you take choline with it as well.
The timing on the two supplements is similar (they should both be taken after 4-5 hours of sleep).
How exactly does choline complement galantamine though?
There are three avenues through which ACh levels can be increased:
- through the inhibition of ACh antagonists (substances which break down the neurotransmitter),
- by acting as an agonist (mimicking the action of ACh)
- and through precursors (substances which – when broken down – result in ACh).
Galantamine ticks the first two of those marks, as mentioned above. Choline comes in and ticks the third one too (it is an ACh precursor).
Does galantamine help with astral projection?
Yes, it does. As a matter of fact, it makes a noticeable impact on the induction of the experience, which is the most difficult thing about it. WILD bears some similarity to the induction of OBEs, and as pointed out above, galantamine works great for WILD.
Added lucidity and control is always more than welcome in an OBE too.
How much galantamine should you take for lucid dreaming?
It all depends on how your body tolerates the supplement and on how long you’ve been taking it (if at all).
As a beginner, you should probably stick to the lowest available dose, which is 4 mg, twice a day, for a total of 8 mg. You can even go as low as 4 mg once a day.
Remember that unlike those who take galantamine for the treatment of mild dementia, you do not need to keep your blood galantamine levels up constantly. In fact, in your case, such an approach is counterproductive. Let it be flushed out of your system completely after every use.
If you notice a gradual degeneration of your dreams towards the nightmarish, take a longer galantamine break.
Galantamine is a very potent lucid dream trigger, which can generate much longer and more vivid dreams/lucid dreams than most of the other dream-focused supplements, especially when combined with the MILD technique.
The active substance stays in your blood for about 48 hours, and it elicits its effects by blocking the breakdown of ACh via AChE, inhibiting the latter. It also acts as an ACh agonist, meaning that its boosting effect is therefore doubled.
Galantamine is suitable for the induction of OBEs (astral projection) too.