5 Foods That May Affect Your Dreams

5 Foods That May Affect Your Dreams

Whether you are a lucid dreamer or haven’t had a nocturnal image in years, these foods just might enhance your slumbering experience. Throughout history, certain foods have been referenced dream inducing combinations. One reference is in the story A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens where Scrooge blames a “crumb of cheese” and other foods for experiencing visits from various ghosts. 

Many swear by certain foods increasing visual images. These are the most popular 5 foods that could affect your dreams. 

Life is Bowl of Cherries

The sweet, red, succulent taste of cherries on a summer eve may just spark some vivid dream images. This is because cherries contain the sleep inducing hormone called melatonin which regulates your circadian rhythm or body clock. The best cherries that may not only rev up your dreams but just may help you fall into and float through the night uninterrupted are tart cherries. Tart cherries have an uncanny anti-inflammatory effect which cold calm your system and send you into dreamland before you know it. 

According to research by scientists at Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University,

The researchers found that those who drank the Montmorency tart cherry juice in the morning and at night were able to sleep more than an hour longer each night (averaging 84 minutes) compared to the placebo, and their sleep tended to be more efficient.”

Spice it Up

If you have a taste for hot foods, you could experience a sleep effect that has you dreaming of lions and tigers and bears, oh my! 

According to Dr. Charles Bae, M.D., a sleep medicine doctor at Sleep Disorders Center at the Cleveland Clinic as reported by Health and Fitness Cheat Sheet, 

“…your body might be working extra hard to digest the spice load, which can be disruptive to your sleep patterns. It could also be that some people are more sensitive to certain chemical compounds in foods than others. This means they’re more likely to be affected.”

Be careful, many report that spicy foods cause nightmares.

It ‘Aint Easy Being Cheesy

The British Cheese Board released a study that deciphered how cheese may be affecting dreams. 

Healthline reported that, 

“They found that people’s dreams varied with the type of cheese they ate before going to sleep. For example, people who ate cheddar seemed to dream more of celebrities.”

Nature concluded that, 

“…blue Stilton [cheese] resulted in the most bizarre trips, affecting about 80% of participants and resulting in visions of talking animals, vegetarian crocodiles and warrior kittens.”

Go easy on cheese as it could compromise digestion yet a little bit might be fun to experiment with. 

Pictures from Caffeine 

You may not drink caffeine before bed due to the obvious result of, well, being too stimulated to fall asleep in the first place. Yet, studies show that people who drink caffeine, even hours before their slumber, could be adding to their nighttime visions. This is because the stimulation of caffeine may never allow your body to fall into the coveted REM (rapid eye movement) deep sleep. 

As your body is affected by the caffeine, essentially keeping you awake (even if you are sleeping), your brain could experience a type of “wakeful dream” making you able to vividly recall your night visions but probably pay for it by not getting enough rest.

A Nutty Night

Eating nuts before bed has a profound chemical effect on your body. Nuts contain tryptophan, the amino acid also found in turkey and some other foods responsible for creating a natural slumber. Yet nuts release tryptophan that in turn gets converted to niacin which encourages your body to release melatonin and serotonin. Melatonin is the natural sleep hormone mentioned above and serotonin is a hormonal mood enhancer. These two components could create feel good dreams that have you smiling from your slumber. 

Add in the fact that nuts (especially peanuts and almonds) contain good amounts of magnesium which is the mineral linked to muscle relaxation. Magnesium also reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol which may allow your brain to be put on hold to allow more calm and less anxiety during sleep. 

In a study published in the Journal of Research of Medical Sciences it was concluded that, 

“Supplementation of magnesium appears to improve subjective measures of insomnia such as ISI score, sleep efficiency, sleep time and sleep onset latency, early morning awakening, and likewise, insomnia objective measures such as concentration of serum renin, melatonin, and serum cortisol, in elderly people.”

Experimenting with certain foods before bed might have you entering a world of nirvana or nightmares. It may also give you indigestion, so be careful. Overall, eating before bed is not really recommended as in addition to indigestion it could cause weight gain in some. However, small amounts of these and other foods are often harmless while inducing images that could be a good thing.