The most fantastic thing about conscious dreams is when the dreamer is aware that they are dreaming, yet perceives everything that is happening to them as completely realistic. Only half of people have had a conscious dream experience at all in their lives, and attempts to induce this phenomenon have had mixed results before. However, a 2018 study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Institute of Conscious Dreaming revealed one effective way to trigger the phenomenon. A drug to treat memory impairment in Alzheimer's disease, known as galantamine, is a fast-acting acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. It helps to aggregate the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain, which is responsible for modulating REM sleep.
In order to study the effects of the drug on the ability to induce conscious dreams, 121 enthusiastic participants, with a strong interest in the subject and mastery of the MILD - Mnemonic Induction of Conscious Dreams technique, were selected. For three consecutive nights, the subjects took different doses of the drug, starting with a placebo, then 4 mg and then 8 mg of galantamine on the last night. Each time, participants woke up 4.5 hours after lights out, performed a special technique to activate conscious sleep, swallowed a capsule and went back to sleep.
Conclusion: Combining the MILD technique with the Alzheimer's medication actually helps trigger conscious dreams in direct correlation to the strength of the result depending on the amount of dose. Taking a placebo (0 mg galantamine + MILD) allowed 14% of participants to have a lucid dream, rising to 27% with 4 mg and 42% with 8 mg. At the moment, this regimen is one of the most effective techniques available for inducing lucid dreams. However, until more is known about its safety, you should not experiment with galantamine on your own.