Eating right before going to sleep is thought to be one cause of nightmares, because it raises the body's metabolism and brain activity. Which foods you eat can also increase chances of a fitful night — specifically, spicy and junk foods.
Photo remixed from an original by Creatista/Shutterstock.
Lifestyle blog Divine Caroline points out two studies that have shown eating these two types of food just before bed resulted in poorer sleep. One published in the International Journal of Psychophysiology found that the addition of Tabasco sauce and mustard at dinner markedly disturbed the six male subjects' sleep. This may be because spicy food can raise body temperatures.
Junk food — ice cream and chocolate bars — was shown in another study published in The Journal of The Mind and Body to particularly trigger more brain waves, which caused seven of the 10 participants to have nightmares while sleeping. The study also found that going to bed on a full stomach can trigger those nightmare-inducing brain waves.
The take away? For a good night's sleep, pass on the hot sauce and dessert before bed.
Six Reasons We Have Bad Dreams [Divine Caroline]