Home > Current Affairs, Musings, Pharmaceutical Research, Technology > Nicotine Patches, Lucid Dreams and Jared Loughner

Nicotine Patches, Lucid Dreams and Jared Loughner

You may have heard about Jared Loughner and his obsession with lucid dreaming, and the possible role it may have played in the shooting of Rep. Giffords. You may also have heard about Loughner’s interest in drugs, especially Marijuana. Some have speculated that his “illegal” drug use might have exacerbated any underlying mental illness.

I have another theory..

Nicotine patches used before bedtime are known to cause vivid dreams with considerably better recall of events in those dreams. Indeed, they are often used for by people interested in exploring lucid dreaming for that effect. It seems that dreams in people using nicotine patches are often MORE vivid, bizzare and just weird than one would expect if they just improved dream recall.

Drugs that stimulate (directly or indirectly) either Muscarinic (M-types) or Nicotinic (N-types) Acetylcholine receptors in the brain are known to have this effect on dreams.

What do you guys think? Comments?

  1. March 2, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    I too agree with you about the marijuana part. I’ve gone through phases of heavy pot smoking over the years, and I’ve never ever associated it with any kind of effects on my dreaming.

    I don’t know about nicontine patches…but as a non-cigarette smoker, I’ve taken to an occasional high-quality cigar several times a month in the past few years. I’m really sensitive to it as well. I usually can only smoke half a cigar, let it burn out and only resume smoking it after some time has passed (and after having a few drinks to boot, to calm down that jitteriness I get when I realized I may have puffed a little more than I can handle).

    I’ve noticed on occasion that when I smoke a cigar later in the evening, and go to bed shortly after finishing one, I have had really vivid dreams. It’s happened enough to me, that I recognized the connection. I’m sure nicotine patches deliver a much stronger, longer acting dose of nicotine than I get through the mucus membrane in my mouth from puffing on a cigar before bedtime.

  2. Matt
    March 3, 2011 at 4:42 am

    Melatonin gives me much more vivid dreams. SInce most of my dreams are nightmares, this is a bad thing.

  3. Meme
    March 3, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Mary Jane is not the culprit here. “The Man” says that to keep it illegal.

    It should be legal and taxed and then those taxes can pay for Universal Healthcare.

  4. almost 40 yoV
    March 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    MK Ultra.

  5. vp075
    March 4, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Both are true. Am currently on nicotine patches, have been for a couple of weeks, and they provide very strange and entertaining dreams – my favorite part of quitting smoking. I’m not sure if they are that different from the normal dreams or if I am just remembering them more. And back in the day I used to take hits right before sleeping because I thought it enhanced those quick dreams that you get as you are drifting off into sleep, though in the end it resulted in heavier sleep, where I remembered less, not more.

    But so what? What’s the point? Trying to make a causal connection between this this quirk of his with a homicidal streak seems a bit tenuous.

  6. Nestorius
    March 5, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Heavy eating before sleep also causes heavy dreams.

  7. kmwiebe
    May 8, 2011 at 10:34 am

    I know someone who never dreamed until he started smoking marijuana.

  8. June 11, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    I have tried the nicotine patches before bed and they do work really well for vivid dreams the only thing is they can make you dizzy so lay down before you put them on and also if your going to be super busy the next day and need lots of deep sleep then wait till the next day when your not going to be as busy!

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