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According to the International Association for the Study of Dreams, nightmares are common and may affect as many as 80 to 90% of people at some point in their lives. Have you ever wondered why some foods make you feel sleepy while others give you a lift? Do you sometimes find yourself dozing off after a big meal or reaching for a sugary snack when you’re tired? In the same way foods you eat affect your sleep and can cause you to dream.
Spicy foods – lying down with a full stomach can make you uncomfortable, since the digestive system slows down when you sleep. It can also lead to heartburn. Make sure to finish a heavy meal at least four hours before bedtime.
Caffeine – an evening cup of coffee might disrupt your sleep. Even moderate caffeine like chocolate, cola, tea, and decaffeinated coffee, can cause sleep disturbances. For better sleep cut all caffeine for your diet four to six hours before bedtime.
Medications may contain caffeine – some over the counter and prescription drugs cantina caffeine, such as pain relievers, weight loss pills, diuretics and cold medicines. These and other medications may have as much or even more caffeine than a cup of coffee. Check the labels to see if your medicine interferes with sleep or can cause insomnia.
Smoking – Nicotine is a stimulant with effects similar to caffeine. Avoid smoking before bedtime or if you wake up in the middle of the night.
Nightcaps – Alcohol may help you fall asleep faster but you may experience frequent awakenings and less restful sleep, headaches, night sweats and nightmares. If you are consuming alcohol in the evening, balance each drink with a glass of water to dilute the alcohol effects, try to avoid alcohol four to six hours before bedtime.
Snacks – If you struggle with insomnia a little food in your stomach may help you sleep. But do not use this as an open invitation to pig out. Keep the snack small. A heavy meal will tax the digestive system, making you uncomfortable and unable to get soothing sleep.
Cravings – carbohydrates-rich foods complement dairy foods by increasing the level of sleep inducing tryptophan in the blood. A few late night snacks to get you snoozing might include a bowl of cereal and milk, yogurt and crackers or bread and cheese.
Protein – this is an essential part of our daytime fare, but is a poor choice for a bedtime snack. Protein rich foods are hard to digest, so skip the high protein snack before bedtime and opt for a glass of warm milk or some sleep friendly carbs life crackers.
Tryptophan rich foods – dairy foods, nuts, seeds, bananas, honey, and eggs contain tryptophan which is a sleep prompting substance.
Now that we have explored what can cause some bad dreams, think about the recent happenings within your life. Your dreams reflect your ambitions, your problems, your aspiration, your frustration. Many a time, your dreams are a reflection of what you think about life. So try to understand your dreams; they might be suggesting that you need to bring a positive change in your life.