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Dream potentiation on a benzodiazepine is probably not correct

I just wanted to give my 2 cents on this. From everything I've read to personal experiences, benzodiazepines act as a suppressant on the amount of REM sleep you get. REM sleep for those who don't know is the lightest part of your sleep and also the part where you dream most actively. It starts by just roughly 10 minutes of REM about 90 minutes after you first fall asleep, then the amount of REM gets longer the longer you sleep and the final one usually lasts between 60 to 90 minutes before you wake up. Because if you wake up by yourself (no alarm clock or such) you normally wake up during the REM sleep and this is why you so often can remember your dreams. If you on the other hand wake up in let's say stage 3 or 4 which are the slow-wave sleep, or deep sleep if you will, you will feel extremely tired since your body and brain has been working in a very low state and it will take some time to 'wake up' the body again and getting the brain back to normal activity. Also you will most likely not be able to remember what you were dreaming, if you were dreaming anything during these stages that is.

Anyhow, when you stop adding benzodiazepines to your system you will get on a dream recoil, your dreams will be more clear and vivid and you will be able to remember them with much more detail. This is because the brain has to get used to more REM sleep.


Drugs binding to the GABAA receptor will suppress the amount of REM sleep and thus it shouldn't potentiate dreams because the REM sleep is where you dream most actively. Drugs like these are of course benzodiazepines but alcohol also binds to the GABAA receptors. Withdrawal often results in episodes of increased REM sleep.

Source: "Benzodiazepines are rapid eye movement (REM) sleep–suppressant medications, and withdrawal often results in episodes of increased REM sleep (REM sleep rebound)." (

I beg to differ

While benzodiazepines do suppress REM sleep and increase stage 3 sleep (there is no longer a stage 4), the effect benzodiazepines have on people's dreams seems to differ person to person. It makes my dreams much more vivid and sometimes rather uncomfortable, but in other people who I surveyed it does in fact suppress dreams. I personally think it should stay as an effect since it does seem to happen in a fair number of people.