“Sweet Dreams” How Sugar Affects Sleep

Who doesn’t love a midnight snack? Kids or adults, those cravings don’t go away!

However, those snickerdoodles or that bowl of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream will pump lots of added sugar into your body, negatively impacting the quality of your sleep! In fact, the more sugar you consume throughout the day, the harder it will be to fall asleep. You will also be more likely to wake up in the middle of the night. You may not fully wake up, but the sugar in your system can pull you out of those deep restorative stages of sleep, making you feel more exhausted the next day.

Eating too much sugar during the day can also lead to an energy crash. Chowing down on food with a lot of added sugar reduces the activity of orexin cells, also called hypocretin, a neurotransmitter that regulates arousal, wakefulness, and appetite. Have you ever wondered why you want to take a power nap in the afternoon after consuming something delectable? Now you know!

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To avoid those sudden captivating energy dips throughout the afternoon, strive to keep your blood sugar levels steady. This will keep your energy levels more constant throughout the day. So what makes a high-quality, high-satisfactory snack? Try combining healthy fats and protein with complex carbohydrates. This will give your snacks staying power. Examples of these would be nuts, nut butters, Greek yogurt, and low-fat cheeses.

If you’re looking to knock your blood sugar levels off balance however, refined sugar will do just that! Try your best to avoid juices, soda, and sugar cereals. You will surprisingly also find refined sugar in simple carbs; white rice, pasta, and white bread. Instead of consuming these junk foods, replace them with complex carbs, like whole grains. You will not only be making healthier eating choices, but also positively affecting your sleep at night.

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Have you ever eaten a dense cheesy dinner, (hello raviolis!) gone to bed, and had an awful nightmare? Have you wondered if the food you eat could cause the sort of dreams that you have? There have been numberless occurrences where people have eaten specific foods, such as dairy or spicy dishes, and it has led to bad dreams.

Food impacts a lot of areas within your body besides your stomach. Think about it, what you eat affects your mood, how alert you are, and your quality of sleep at night.

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When the food you eat keeps you up throughout the night, you will remember your dreams more vividly. For example, if you are lactose and tolerant, even in the slightest sense, a bowl of ice cream before bed can cause indigestion and wake you up throughout the night. As you wake up more often during the night, the more likely you are to remember the crazy dreams you have. In some cases, the food may not cause the bad dreams, but the food enabled you to remember them.

As well as what you eat before bed, when you eat before bed can affect your dreams. Eating a large meal before hitting the sack will boost your metabolism and temperature, two occurrences that result in more brain activity during REM sleep.

Now you'll think twice about what choices you make for a midnight snack!