One of the side effects of taking melatonin is an increased vividness to REM sleep. And I have to say that in the few years I’ve been taking this supplement on a semi-regular basis that my dreams have become markedly more odd and much more vivid.
The vividness comes from an increase in senses other than sight and sound, although those senses have heightened in my dream world as well. I can feel, smell, and taste things in my dreams now. It’s disconcerting but also kind of fun. I feel like my emotions and lucidity when I dream are also increased. That doesn’t mean I’m lucid dreaming in the sense that I’m controlling what’s going on, but that I know I’m dreaming more often than I used to. I suppose if I were prone to nightmares this would be less pleasant than it is, but for the most part my dreams are weird but not disturbing or frightening. I find myself replaying recent actions and activities with dream logic, or symbolically dealing with my various anxieties. One frequent trope of my dreams is that I am either watching or appearing in a movie or TV show–sometimes both simultaneously. One part of me in the dream knows what I’m seeing/doing is merely fiction while another part is participating in the story being told. Like I said, weird but not unpleasant.
Last night’s melatonin-induced oddity included the Fleetwood Mac song “Blue Letter.” It was being played for some reason, though I can’t remember why. I heard the opening verse quite clearly. This wasn’t a case of the song being played just before I woke up and seeping into my sleep cycle; I didn’t have the radio on and the TV was tuned to the NFL network. It’s more like the music shuffle phenomenon I’ve had ever since I got an iPod, although that usually happens when I’m awake. The song basically just popped into my head. As a result, I haven’t been able to shake the song all day. So now y’all can sing along with me.