According to Robinett, certain herbs can have a powerful effect on sleep and dreams. “The typical blends for lucid dreaming and dream recall, or vivid dreaming, are generally nootropics and hypnotics or sedatives,” she explains to mbg.
Nootropics are drugs or supplements believed to improve cognitive function, including memory. And hypnotics or sedatives, which Robinett notes are pretty interchangeable, allow you to be relaxed and somewhat sedated.
“Nootropics are stimulating cognitively but not caffeinated,” she adds, “and hypnotics or sedatives create this tension where you’re partly awake and you’re kind of sedated, so you’re able to be in that lucid state for longer or be more aware of your time in that space.”
And this isn’t a 21st-century discovery by any means: Cultures around the world have been incorporating herbs into their dreaming regimens for generations. From Mexico to China to India and even ancient Aztec civilizations, our ancestors have long believed in the power of herbs for dreams.