Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Foods that (supposedly) cause nightmares

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Lately, I have been suffering from nightmares at night.  I didn’t use to dream much at night, but for the past few months I seem to just dream all the time.  While I may like to watch TV shows featuring angels and demons, I don’t particularly enjoy watching such shows in my head at night, if you know what I mean.  I think that it has been affecting my sleep quality big time, but I’ve been having trouble coming up with what I can do about it.

I did, however, find an article yesterday that claimed that there are certain foods that you should avoid eating before bed because they can cause nightmares.  I thought this was interesting, as it had never occurred to me that this might be the case.

Below, I have copy pasted the relevant information about this from the website.

“Can Certain Foods Cause Nightmares?

With children, nightmares often occur after eating sugar, spicy, or exotic foods before bedtime. Eating sugar before bed often results in high blood sugar (hyperglycemic) for a short while, then, often after the person goes to sleep the body becomes low in blood sugar (hypoglycemic) and this is thought to contribute to nightmares. In adults, eating sugary, spicy or exotic foods, drinking alcohol or taking drugs before bedtime often precipitates nightmares.

What Do You Recommend For Nightmares?

For people who are dealing with nightmares, especially children, I recommend avoiding all forms of sugar, and graphic physical or emotional violence (television) for one to two hours before bedtime. I recommend that these people take vitamin B6 and amino acids before going to bed, and again if they wake during the night, to assist in keeping the body’s blood sugar balanced all night long.“

The website also mentioned that some foods should be avoided before bed if you have a sleep disorder.

“Dietary and Lifestyle Causes of Sleep Disorders

The following foods are known to contain tyramine, a chemical created in the breakdown of tyrosine, an amino acid protein. Tyramine acts as a brain chemical stimulant. The following foods and drinks are known to contribute to the formation of tyramine: all forms of alcohol, bacon, caffeine, cheese, chocolate, eggplant, ham, potatoes, sauerkraut, sausage, spinach, sugar, tobacco, tomatoes, and wine. People with sleep disorders should avoid these foods, especially at bedtime.“

What do you think?  Is there really a link between what you eat and how you dream?  Are there any foods you avoid eating before bed (other than caffeine)?

I am going to have to try this and see if it helps me with my nightmares.

(Note: the post’s picture is from: http://growlingjack.wordpress.com/2009/09/15/foods-that-cause-nightmares/.)

20 comments:

  1. Red sauce, like pizza, or spaghetti almost always gives me those realistic nightmares. They're bad enough I've ended up calling my parents at 2am to make sure they're alive.

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  2. Last night before bedtime I ate a pepperoni pizza and had a really bad nightmare about everyone around me being very ill. I read this and it kind of makes sense now. Phew- no pizza anymore...

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  3. I drink a glass of wine at night for the past 2 weeks and I have been having some terrible nightmares where i wake up in the middle of the night scared to death! I'm going to not drink wine before bed and see if that helps! thanks!

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  4. People with gluten intolerance may have narcolepsy as a result of eating wheat, rye or barley containing products. Wheat is in glues, cosmetic goods, many other things a person may be in contact with. Narcolepsy causes REM sleep issues and waking dream states perceived as hallucinations. Therefore, if a person is plagued with bad dreams which happen typically during REM sleep they might want to try to avoid wheat containing food and products for 2 weeks.

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    Replies
    1. Muesli seems to do it to me every time.

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  5. Damedeen
    Since I have been juicing vegetables I have been having bad dreams. I am in the process of eliminating each in turn to see if it is one in particular. I don't have bad dreams on the days i juice fruit.
    Damedeen

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  6. I think banana chips before bed are giving me nightmares??!!

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    1. Wow. The whole reason I'm here is because I googled "can banana chips cause nightmares." They are my favorite snack and I haven't been eating them as much lately, but each night that I do, I've had disturbing dreams. Thanks for posting because I'm pretty sure most people would think we're crazy!

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  7. Pizza Hut pizza eaten any time of the day gives me nightmares that night. Can't figure it out. Only Pizza Hut.

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  8. Eating hotdogs or bacon before bedtime will almost guarantee that I have some crazy dreams. Two hotdogs last night and three very vivid dreams.

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  9. Meat lovers pizza has just caused me a horrible dream!! Have been calling my boyfriend all morning so he can tell me It's all okay!!

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  10. I absolutely believe that foods can trigger nightmares. I too am Narcoleptic. My entire family is (mother, sister, nephew, aunts, cousins, everyone). I read a few years ago that beef can also trigger nightmares so I begin to monitor my sleep experience after my consumption of beef and each time I would experience horrific nightmares. So of course no more beef for me.

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  11. I have found that these bad dreams come for me when I have chocolate and sugary foods before bed. Lately I have been having nightmares about shootings and people being killed, me running for my life, hiding, and "end of the world" and suicidal dreams. I realized the pattern each time was sugar before bedtime

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  12. I am doing a science fair project on whether or not sugar before bed can cause nightmares or even disturbed sleep. I am very excited for it and I do believe this blog could help me with my research!

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  13. Curry. Omg, a grey person wearing rabbit ears was chasing me around while staying hidden behind parked cars in some weird San Francisco ghetto. I was disturbed all day. I never, ever eat curry, had to be it.

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  14. I've never had a nightmare.. just really weird/freaky dreams. And sausage, sauerkraut, and bacon are all things I've been eating lately because I made a dish consisting of all those things. Well, polish sausage to be specific, but still. Well, at least I've solved THAT mystery.

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  15. Acai berrys. I drank one of the big bottles of sambazon acai berry juice and had the worst nightmares ever. i rarely even remember my dreams.

    Apparently, im not the only one.

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090425092521AAuXE8o

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  16. I always have wine with dinner, and even when I have wine at 8pm, I may wake up thirsty, but have no nightmares...HOWEVER, recently I have been having some fresh red ruby grafefruit (plain, no sugar)or the same in liquid form, before bed....Wow...some very scary dreams and visions in my room as recent as last night! This is the ONLY variance in my diet, so I think I'll eleiminate any fruit before bedtime.

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  17. Very interesting posts!
    What's missing is a reference to histamine intolerance (sort of like a precursor to scromboid food poisoning).
    The foods mentioned in the section
    “Dietary and Lifestyle Causes of Sleep Disorders"
    are strongly correlated to foods that are often high in histamine. People who have trouble breaking down histamine in the gut or blood stream will have problems, one of which is anxiety/panic attacks...
    What I'm finding interesting is the possible link to narcolepsy...

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  18. Last night I ate craw fish for my first time. And I had a nightmare as well. Is craw fish consedered an "Exotic Food"?

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