17 Foods You’re Eating That Majorly Mess With Your Dreams

April 01, 2019

Dreams may scare us, or make us think hard about our future. No matter what, they’re scenarios our brains make up that often have lasting effects, and there’s no way we can turn them off. But we may be able to have a little control over them, starting with our diets.

As you know, the food we eat fuels us. Sometimes, the greasy cheeseburger is satisfying but leads to bloating or sluggishness later on.

So, it makes sense that some of the ingredients in that burger may cause weird dreams.

MedicalNewsToday reports that people, on average, dream between three and six times per night. We don’t always remember our dreams, but when we do, they can impact our entire day. Some people believe that our dreams happen because our brains are still trying to process the events of the day and scheduled events to come, while others think our dreams are ways to mentally prepare ourselves for possible fearful events ahead.

No matter what, if you’re having constant nightmares, you may try everything you can to break the cycle.

And by looking into your favorite late night snacks, you may get answers as to why. Here are some foods that can notably disrupt your dreams, either for better or worse.

1. Cheese

This may be a tough one to swallow, because cheese is the best. But there’s some good news behind this claim — it doesn’t necessarily give you nightmares.

Instead, it just makes your dreams more vivid. BBC notes that apparently, Stilton cheese may lead to dreams that are more bizarre than usual.

2. Alcohol

It doesn’t really come as much of a surprise, right? Alcohol can be wonderful after a hard week, but it’s also technically a poison in high quantities. Drinking it right before bed may cause some more colorful dreams and memorable nightmares.

3. Peanut Butter and Jelly

Let’s go back to some good news. Bustle talked to Dr. Gary Wenk, professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the Ohio State University and Medical Center, who said that the sandwich is actually ideal if you want your brain to sleep a bit more soundly.

“The bread and the jelly are great sources of simple carbohydrates, which are terrible usually, but great for sleep,” he said.

So, you may end up with a few sweet dreams by snacking on this classic combo.

4. Chocolate

Bad news. Sorry. Chocolate has been linked to violent nightmares before. And I don’t mean that you’re having violent nightmares that are all about you running out of chocolate when you need it most.

That counts for hot chocolate, too.

5. Pasta

This may be one of the most upsetting, especially if you’re known to eat a late dinner. Because pasta for lunch just isn’t as satisfying.

A study in Plos One, which was published back in 2014, noted that Japanese men and women both reported poor sleep after eating noodles.  Bummer.

6. Coffee

Yes, there’s a good reason why people switch to decaf after a certain time. But if you’re a college student, you’re probably all too familiar with brewing a pot at 10 PM.

Since caffeine stimulates your brain, you’ll likely have some sleep disturbances if you drink it even a couple of hours before bed.

7. Bananas

They’re not just a great source of potassium — they also cause really vivid dreams if you eat them too close to bedtime.

That’s because they contain melatonin.

8. Curry

If your famous curry recipe is spicy, your dreams may end up being all over the place. That’s because spicy food elevates your body temperature, making sleep slightly more challenging.

9. Hot Sauce

Hot sauce has a similar effect, but it’s been scientifically proven. A study found that by adding hot sauce to the evening meal of their subjects, dreams were more, in their words, “disturbed.”

(But their dinners were probably a lot more flavorful!)

10. Garlic

It has plenty of health benefits, but it’s something you’ll probably want to avoid before snoozing. Not just because you’ll likely be able to taste it regardless of the amounts of time you brush your teeth, but because it can cause heartburn, which can disturb your sleep.

Plus, people have reported that garlic seems to make their dreams a lot crazier. Save the garlic for tomorrow morning.

11. Cookies

This may be a good argument that cookies are best enjoyed as a go-to breakfast. Like most desserts, these tend to have a lot of sugar — and that sugar can make your brain think up some crazy things while you’re asleep.

Now, it seems like quantity may have something to do with it.

Healthfully reports that the sugar can cause hypoglycemia, and that’s the condition that’d affect your sleep negatively.

12. Ice Cream

Similarly, ice cream has a lot of sugar in it, which can confuse your brain as to what time it is. If you eat too much of it right before bed, you may have some very strange dreams. Too bad it’s so delicious.

13. Soda

It’s way easier to pound down sodas when you’re grabbing dinner at a restaurant.

Free refills are one of the best pleasures of life.

If you’re losing track of how many you’ve gotten, you can guarantee that the caffeine will be giving you some crazy and vivid dreams.

14. Turkey

You’ve probably heard that eating a lot of turkey can make you sleepy, but it’s more like Thanksgiving altogether.

It’s been proven that it’s more of the overindulgence than the turkey itself that makes you want to doze off.

But since it takes a lot of energy to digest the fats in turkey, it may lead you to some pretty crazy dreams.

15. Chips and Salsa

Unfortunately, chips and salsa are in the category of “junk food” for some, meaning that it may cause some nightmares. If they’re salty, that’s another factor that can disrupt sleep. But the salsa, especially if it’s on the hot and spicy side (and the best kinds are) might be the true culprit.

16. Kombucha

Say it ain’t so.

The popular drink, known for its health benefits, actually may cause some sleep disturbances if you drink it at night.

That’s because it’s caffeinated, and some brands also include a bunch of sugar. It also might cause a little bit of digestive distress if you’re drinking it in high quantities.

17. Apple Juice

This one is a bit disputed, but since every person is different, it’s worth a shot.

Some people believe that you have lucid and memorable dreams after sipping on some apple juice before bed. Hey, at the very least, you’ll get some additional Vitamin C.