Galantamine Under the Stars

Wednesday, August 29, 0015: The Night Before

A 4mg capsule of galantamine and a 500mg horse pill of choline bitartrate lie on my bedside table, waiting.  At 0500, they will be called into action.  I have enlisted my iPod to wake me gently, but tenaciously with the “xylophone” alarm at this time.  I have taken at least 5mg Zyprexa, but it could have been 10mg (getting ready for bed on autopilot can be dangerous, as I often forget if I’ve taken my medication.  Sometimes I miss a dose or double dose as a result.  I need a better system).  I plan to read for 10 minutes, then go to sleep.

Thursday, August 20: The Morning of

0515

Woke up feeling very groggy and remembering no dreams.  It took me 15 minutes to become sufficiently conscious to turn off my alarm and laboriously climb out of bed.  I swallowed the galantamine gelatin capsule with water no problem, but almost choked on the coarse choline horse pill, which scared me a bit and left a lingering tart taste in my mouth.  I then got out of bed, walked to the kitchen and ate a slice of whole-grain bread with butter.  I voided my bladder, and went back to my room, where I practiced kung fu in the mirror for a few minutes, then climbed back into bed and read for 10 minutes. With these wake-back-to-bed techniques, I like to include both physical and mental stimulation.

Not long after turning off my lights, roughly 30 minutes after taking the supplements, my limbs started feeling lighter.  I started to lose sense of time, but it was not too long before my body entered sleep paralysis (SP) (much shorter than on previous WILD attempts made without supplements).  I felt energizing waves pulse through my body, and it felt like a strong wind was creating loud turbulence as it traveled past my ears.  It was among the most intense SP experiences I’ve had, minus the accompanying hallucinations, which were not present here (usually I only have hallucinations when moving from Dream –> SP, rather than from Waking –> SP –> Dream).  Aside: upon reflection in that moment, I realized I had just had a short dream while not yet asleep.  I’d never experienced that before.  Sometimes, these dynamic energies continue at the same level for a while, then subside.  Often I get frustrated and just go to sleep.  I haven’t been all that successful with wake-induced-lucid dreams (WILDs)  in the past, and consider myself a beginner for sure.  However, this time the energy was not only refusing to subside, it was determined to continue strongly and even amplify.  It was effortless on my part.

I’ve read that many people have difficulty falling back asleep after consuming galantamine.  I did not experience this problem.  If anything, I think being on antipsychotic meds might have provided a slight advantage in this respect.  As the energy level rose, I felt closer and closer to being catapulted over the threshold, from waking reality to beyond.  I tried to gently influence the hypnogogic imagery (in this case twinkling lights) into a scene.  I didn’t enter directly into a lucid dream, but I soon became lucid and had one of the longer, more stable lucid dreams of my life.

I found myself driving around in a car looking for a good spot to pull over and take my dreaming supplements.  I then awake in a house and I am lucid.  It was like my parent’s house as it could exist in a not too distant parallel universe; it had a different energy, and a different room layout, though the position of the streets and its location on the property was identical.  Inside, I walked from room to room.  I could hear Spanish music playing faintly in the house.  Where was it coming from? As I made my way to my friend’s room, it became louder and louder.  When I entered her room, I found that her radio was on.  I marveled at how this pretty music was originating from a tiny box, and how my mind was able to reproduce this specifically located sound with such striking accuracy.  As I walked around the room, the sound changed as it should, given my binaural (stereo) hearing, and my relative position to the sound’s source.  There were childrens’ toys around the far edge of the room, like those plastic pretend play houses and kitchens.  The room was somehow connected to outside, or the wall inconspicuously disappeared, but I was then outside the house, in the side yard.  My friend was there, but before I could talk with her, the stability of the dream wavered.  I reached down and scooped up a handful of gravely sand.  I felt its texture as I moved it through my fingers and then rubbed it between my hands like Maximus in the movie, Gladiator.  (Note: feeling the texture of my dream environment has proven to be a highly effective dream stabilizer for me, more so than rubbing hands together rapidly, shouting for clarity, or spinning).  With the dream stable again, I walked along a path beside the house.  Cars were passing along the road, again with the seamless integration of visual movements and auditory sounds.  I wondered if these cars were actually passing outside my house in waking reality.  While in the lucid dream, I had a sense of what time it was in waking reality (around 0600), and decided that the traffic level inside my dream was consistent with what it would be while awake.  While at the edge of a garden on the property, a bus drove through the yard and pulled over to a stop alongside the garden.  It stopped for a moment, then noisily pulled away (there is a bus stop right outside my house in waking reality, and this bus has been integrated into my lucid dreams before!) I then decided to walk up the street.  While waking, I figured it would be a good time to perform a reality check.  I looked at my hand (which is what I’ve been doing in waking reality these days).  It looked no different than in waking reality.  All lines and creases where they should be, all in proportion.  I then tried to poke my finger through my hand, but it wouldn’t budge.  I knew I was dreaming, so I continued, giving my fingers a pull with my other hand.  With some effort, they started to lengthen, and another full phalangeal segment emerged, giving my hands a mutated, spindly look which I found pretty amusing in the dream (in hindsight, this reality check was not that effective for me and wouldn’t have worked had I not already known I was dreaming.  I like looking at text.)  

0615

I exited the dream shortly after, still in sleep paralysis.  I felt like I could have easily entered another lucid dream, but decided to wake myself instead and record the dream for fear of losing the fading recollection entirely.  When I awoke, it was 0615.  I had been asleep for an hour.

The lucid dream probably lasted around 5 minutes.  Although I didn’t try to exert much influence over the dream, I did exercise my volition by making decisions regarding where to go and what to engage in.  I was aware that it was a dream, and could consciously access memories from waking reality.  I did this with very little effort on my part- I felt like there was an unseen force supporting me, and facilitating this journey.

I found it more difficult to get back to sleep after recording the dream.  The effects of the supplements were much fainter.  I got to sleep and entered a fairly vivid non-lucid dream.  I felt like it would have been fairly easy to wake up at any time, but I opted to sleep in a bit, and woke at 0945.

In summary, I was very impressed with the efficacy of the galantamine/choline combination.  Using only a simple WBTB technique in tandem with the supplements, I was able to effortlessly enter sleep paralysis, sustain/intensify it, and then enter a sweet lucid dream.  Prolonging one lucid dreaming or entering subsequent ones felt like a distinct possibility, one that I opted out of in order to record the first lucid dream I had last night.  I woke up this morning feeling well rested, with no ill after-effects of the supplements or time spent awake.

Things that helped me feel comfortable taking these supplements:

  1. Reading numerous reports of people’s experiences with taking them for lucid dreaming purposes, as well as for Alzheimer’s, and some mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia.  I found Ryan Hurd’s work particularly helpful for lucid dreamers, and although I didn’t read it myself, noted that many people found the book, Advanced Lucid Dreaming – The Power of Supplements, by Thomas Yuschak helpful.
  2. Buying from a reputable source (I got mine from NutritionBAY on ebay)
  3. Testing it during the day to rule out any allergies or drug interactions.  See my previous post for more info
  4. A prerequisite understanding/experience of sleep paralysis.  It is crucial to be unafraid in this state, because fear amplifies the experience and can make it pretty darn terrifying.  Chances are, you will be scared at some point in experiencing sleep paralysis.   But once you learn to recognize the feeling and understand what it is and what can happen (e.g. feelings of an evil presence in the room, great pressure on your chest, auditory and visual hallucinations, floating above or sinking into your mattress) you can lose that fear and not only find the experience not, but also use it as a springboard to enter a lucid dream.
  5. Previous experience with wake-induced-lucid dreaming (entering a lucid dream directly from a waking state without losing conscious awareness) would be helpful, but not necessary.  My success with WILDing has been modest at best, and I was able to pull it off.

I intend on continue experimenting with these supplements occasionally, as an adjunct to the core practices of lucid living and dreaming (i.e. dream journaling, reality checks, identifying/recognizing dreamsigns etc.).  I’ll be sure to document these explorations, along with other, non-supplement based journeys – thanks for joining me!

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4 responses to “Galantamine Under the Stars

  1. Pingback: Lucid Bliss : An Alternate Reality… « Luke's Art Voyage·

  2. For some reason I didn’t receive a notification that you had posted! I would have read this much earlier had that been the case. Excellent to see you had a nice lucid dream – I LOVE music in dreams!! It’s very rare for me, it was great to read that the sound changed as you moved from room to room!

    SP is a fear of mine, without doubt. I’m only aware of experiencing it just as a nightmare begins, and throughout – until I’m woken. I didn’t realise you could use it to get into a lucid dream? I’m so afraid of experiencing it, perhaps I’m keeping that door closed on myself, though. I’m amazed you could lie there without fear while it took hold. Do you not feel like your mind is also trapped? That you cannot wake up even if you tried? That’s usually what makes me afraid.

    I shall also learn from your idea of feeling the environment. Spinning is only really what I do if I feel the dream is breaking down (though in all honesty I’ve not had to do that for a while). I’d never have thought about feeling the environment!

    Fantastic post! It’s great to see your progress and I’m learning a lot from reading your entries! 😀

    Take care!

    Rhea

    SP

    • Hi Rhea,

      Yes, you can indeed enter a lucid dream from sleep paralysis- most of the hard work is already done! (i.e. body paralyzed and in a transitional state). I’m not too experienced with this because sleep paralysis is fairly rare for me, especially on the medication I’m taking at present.

      Nevertheless, from the 10-20 experiences of SP I’ve had over the past several years, I can certainly understand your fear of it. During the period before I knew what it was, I was stabbed in the chest by a dark figure in my room, was pushed into my mattress with great force, saw creepy stuffed animals staring at me from my ceiling, had strange perception distortions like a time delay between my touch and auditory input (heard loud rustling in my bed that was not in sync with my movements), and the scariest of all was the auditory hallucination of a female voice whispering my name really loudly right beside me (when I woke up and saw no one, I was concerned I was developing schizophrenia or something- but it was isolated incident and I carried on normally as if it hadn’t happened).

      I did a lot of reading and youtube “research” around this time and learned that everyone seemed to agree on at least one point – fear itself is the biggest enemy! I found I was able to overcome my fear by (1) educating myself on sleep paralysis and coming to understand intellectually that there is nothing to be afraid of, (2) engaging in self-talk when actually experiencing sleep paralysis – i.e. labeling the experience as “sleep paralysis” and then telling myself that there is nothing to be afraid of, and that there isn’t actually anything in my room.

      With these strategies in place, sleep paralysis became amusing. The hallucinations didn’t disappear, but they became much more benign and even laughable. I would hallucinate things like my mom opening the door to my room, or my brother coming in to my room to borrow clothes. When I was freed from paralysis, I had to think think rationally about whether or not these events actually took place because the hallucinations can be so convincing. I was amazed once I realized they hadn’t actually happened.

      I could go on and on about SP – there is lots to say about it! I’ve been talking mostly from a scientific perspective, but there are numerous ways to view the phenomenon. From a shamanic perspective, perhaps this state is a transitional concourse between physical world and spirit world. I like to entertain ideas like multiple realities existing simultaneous, and the possibility of traversing them.

      For more info in the subject, Ryan Hurd’s work is a good place to start. He is a dream/consciousness researcher and has written lots about his experiences with SP. You can check out his blog at http://dreamstudies.org/ While reading his stuff, I came across a pretty effective technique you can use to snap the body right out of SP, but I forget what it is now! I will try and find it for you. His book on SP includes some methods for entering a lucid dream from SP as well.

      Glad you liked the post and thanks for taking the time to comment!

      • Thank you very much for the update on SP!! I’ve just had a cursory glance over Ryan Hurd’s site and I’ll definitely bear some of his break-SP techniques in mind the next time it happens.

        I don’t think I’ll try and jump into a lucid dream from SP until I’ve truly gotten over the fear. Hopefully once I’m past the fear, I’ll use it as an alternative method to lucidity!

        Many thanks once again!

        Rhea

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