So I am taking ashwagandha tincture (because of reasons I may explain some other time but right now it’s not relevant) and prior to starting, I had read that ashwagandha can cause vivid dreams and even weird light effects when you close your eyes.
Unfortunately I haven’t had the weird light effects (and I was really looking forward to that too). But the dreams have been interesting, especially in comparison to valerian. Now something like 10% of people get no effect from valerian, I hear, but I am one of the ones it works on. Now and then I take it when I need some help falling asleep. The dreams it gives me are…intense.
Normally I would say I’m a semi-lucid dreamer–I’m almost always aware at some point in the dream that I am, in fact, dreaming. But not with valerian dreams. They feel totally real. Well, I don’t really like the dream/real dichotomy because what’s not real about a dream? It’s a real dream. But I mean my valerian dreams feel like I am awake.
Now ashwagandha has a similar effect, in that in the dreams I feel like I’m awake and not dreaming. But the quality of the dreams has been very different from what I experience with valerian. In all my ashwagandha dreams, I have been striving or struggling for something, and usually frustrated by not quite getting it, or waking up before I could finish the story. They aren’t nightmares by any means, and I feel pretty refreshed when I wake up, but always very frustrated.
Contrast this with my most recent valerian dreams, which were all about friends from far away clamoring to tell me how much they love me.
Once again, I’m truly blown away by the subtle powers of plants. What chemical constituent could account for the difference between dreams of love and dreams of struggle? I’m reminded of the way that agrimony brings to my attention things in my life that are no longer working for me and that need attention. How does it do that? It’s nothing short of magic as far as I can tell.
Have you tried valerian or ashwagandha? I’d love to hear about your dreams! (Or any crazy light effects.)