Caffeine Dream Hack
I discovered this quite accidentally some months ago, yet it has quickly become one of my favourite distractions.
It started when I noticed that Phoenix Nutrition were offering Absolutus’ own meditation formula — 100mg caffeine / 200mg theanine — ready prepared in pill form in a product called Optimum Caffeine. I would wake up around 7am, take a couple of those, then get up and go about my business while waiting for it to kick in, at which point I would meditate.
One morning however I woke up at 5am needing the toilet. Getting back to bed I decided to take the pills anyway and go back to sleep. This was when something brilliant happened. I emerged into a dream surrounded by gold light and filled completely with love, with warmth in my heart. Friends and family I had not seen in years joined me, and we played and went on adventures. My dead cat was alive again and I stroked him. I awoke with a feeling that everything was going to be all right.
The joy did not end there. Getting up to do some chores, I found that even while washing up I felt drunk with bliss. It was the kind of “full” feeling you get after jhana or good energy work; a heavier happiness that comes and goes in waves and persists long into the day, leaving an almost sweet taste in your mouth. I sat to meditate and found I could enter the first jhana very quickly from this energy state. Every now and again I would “remember” this feeling and it would sweep across me, leaving a smile on my face.
I have begun performing this ritual most days, now — waking up at 5am, taking the pills, then dreaming for a few hours. A couple of things you need to know about caffeine are 1) it is highly addictive and 2) it releases large amounts of dopamine into the reward circuit. Dreams in a reward-activated state become pure wish fulfilment. For example, yesterday I dreamed I was floating around the Caribbean on a raft eating curry and keema naan. I remember thinking, “I didn’t know that the Shalimar delivered out here?” or some other absurdity to explain this happenstance. These dreams are hardly ever lucid (thank God). They are just some sort of absurd situation where you get everything you want then you wake up happy.
The result is not always the same and tolerance is an issue. The best dreams occur on the first usage and the days immediately following that. After that, the best dreams occur when you haven’t taken it in a few days. Still, the chances of a great dream on whatever day you take it are ~60%, and the chances of waking up in a great mood are closer to 90%. I recommend meditating as soon as possible while in that state.