I've decided to start a new experimental regimen. I've been doing a lot of thinking about the connections between hallucinogens and dreaming, especially after doing a lot of research and testing with menthol, and what it's really brought me to is the relationship between dopamine and prolactin. As far as I can tell, dopamine is like the chemical of the subconscious.... It connects us to our thoughts and desires, brings our imaginations to life. Prolactin, on the other hand, controls how much desire we actually have, and I mean that on a rather deep, subconscious level. Dopamine and prolactin are normally inversely correlated, but they can both be active at the same time. My theory was that having both dopamine and prolactin going would make for a more general enhancement of a dream or hallucinatory experience, but it would also make them rather wild and uncontrollable, or at the very least impulsive. Dopamine, however, while it is very impulsive in its own right, would allow for an experience that more naturally formed around our desires when not inhibited by prolactin.
For example, I recently decided to do research into the pro- or anti-prolactinergic effects of various psychedelics. The well-known ones that I've experimented with that I was able to find information on include DMT, psilocin (from mushrooms), and LSD. DMT and psilocin each give me trips that are totally uncontrollable, and often are alien and bizarre. Psilocin gives me me a considerably more "connected" trip than DMT, and is often very sexual and shows me amazing visions that do reflect my subconscious, but overall it's more like I'm going along for the ride than anything. LSD is a totally different story. Whenever I'm on LSD, reality forms to my desires without me even having to do anything; the world simply bends and twists until it's reshaped itself to explore my every fantasy. It's not a conscious method of control like using powers in a lucid dream, it works on the subconscious level in the sense that the dream-like state itself is formed in exactly the way that you would form it if you were doing it manually, and since it's just happening for you and your subconscious is creating it it's even better than you could possibly create with your conscious mind. Unsurprisingly (to me, anyway), DMT and psilocin increase prolactin levels, while LSD decreases them.
So how does this apply to the supplements? Well, I got to thinking.... Menthol raises prolactin levels and potentiates D2 responses. This is why I believe it creates some of the same connection to desires as dopamine (like the sexual effects), but it also makes them more sensual than fiendish, and it adds lots of visual effects like RobStar commonly mentions. It also definitely does make me more impulsive while lucid, and there's certainly nothing wrong with this; the "pure" sexual feeling is one I've already grown quite fond of. However, I still have the desire to test my theories further and see what a high-dopamine/low-prolactin state of dreaming would be like. This is difficult to do normally.... Drugs that increase prolactin tend to increase REM (like menthol), whereas drugs that increase dopamine tend to decrease REM. However, that doesn't mean there's not a way around it. The plus side is that increased dopaminergic activity itself will decrease prolactin levels if unopposed, so all that's really required is to find a way to raise dopamine levels and increase REM at the same time.
That's where the supplements come in. Melatonin directly opposes the effects of dopamine, particularly at D2, to suppress REM and induce non-REM sleep. Therefore, the REM rebound effect it creates later is the result of a direct increase in the dopaminergic activity of dreams to make up for lost time. So that's how that works. Zinc is another cool one, I think. Zinc is an NMDA antagonist, and this alone may add something to it but it's not my main goal; however, it does mean that chronic use of zinc will upregulate D2 receptors, and that should make for more enhanced dreaming overall. In addition, zinc appears to be a positive allosteric modulator of dopamine receptors, especially D1 and D2. This means that it doesn't actually provide any effects by itself and will not create a dopaminergic response (i.e., it won't wake you up), but it will enhance the ability of agonists at the receptor such as dopamine to create their response. So in other words, it makes the dopamine at those receptors more effective. It's also known to decrease prolactin levels with continued use. Together, I believe these two supplements, especially in chronic use, may be able to give me the kinds of effects I'm looking for. I'm also planning to add new ones to the stack to increase the effect, such as vitamin B6 to increase the production of dopamine where the brain needs it, and vitamin E to further reduce prolactin levels. I'm also considering going on the no fap challenge during this (which is why I've listed the entry as "Day 0", as I'm already unable to officially start today) so that my dopamine receptors become more sensitive and my daily prolactin levels drop. Hopefully, this will turn out to be a very successful endeavor and give me dreams that are more tailored to my desires without me even having to intervene!