Your Late-Night Snack and Your DreamsApril 20, 2018
If you are tossing and turning, getting interrupted by nightmares, or sleeping as deep as a baby, consider this: it might be because of the food you are eating. It’s true—your late-night snack before bed may be having a direct effect on the quality of sleep and even the content of your dreams. If you are obsessed with cheddar or a sucker for a T-bone steak, are you doomed to nights filled with nightmares and little rest? Here are some common food groups and their effects on your sleeping body and mind so you can be the judge.
We all need a little fat in our diet and fat definitely gets a bad rap. However, there is no denying science. Eating fatty foods raises our body temperature significantly as our body works to digest it. When we sleep, our body naturally lowers its temperature to conserve energy. Eating fatty foods before bed can throw this balance way out of whack, and cause our bodies to work overtime. This can lead to fitful sleep that is not very restful and can even cause dreams that are determined by feelings of fever and exhaustion. Maybe save that T-bone for lunch.
Sometimes the world seems like it is separated into two groups: those who love spicy food and those who hate it. Spice can definitely be a determining factor for you and your friends when you choose the restaurant for dinner. You guessed it, spicy foods can also directly affect your dreams! Due to the fact that many have indigestion caused by upping the spice in their diet, their dreams are often plagued by nightmares. Next time you want a peaceful night of sleep, skip the spice.
If you find yourself under the spell of your sweet-tooth, consider how it may be influencing your sleep. Chocolate and other sugars can lead to a boost in energy, which when falling asleep, is not the most convenient thing to overcome. Trying to fall asleep through a sugar rush or a caffeine high disrupts and may tinge your sleep with a night full of anxious dreaming. Save the sweets for those moments in your day you need an extra energy boost.
Good news! Foods with dairy both can and cannot give you bizarre dreams—it all depends on your sensitivity. Surprisingly, dairy has more tryptophan, the sleeping hormone, than turkey does! If you find that you do not have a dairy sensitivity, dairy might be a good idea before hitting the sack. However, if your stomach has trouble digesting any dairy, you might be in for a weird ride!
Before you blame your subconscious for your latest fit of bad dreams, it might be a good idea to consider what you are eating before bed. Coming to terms with how your late-night snack is affecting your sleep and dreams might lead to more positive changes in your diet that your whole wellbeing can be thankful for.