Do Spicy Foods Give You Bizarre Dreams
Do spicy foods affect sleep? Eating spicy food right before bed can sabotage your sleep. That’s because spicy foods can bring on heartburn, and heartburn pain can rouse you from your peaceful slumber. In one study, six young men were given Tabasco hot sauce and mustard with their dinners. It took them longer to fall asleep, and they experienced less slow wave sleep too. One question, however, persistsis the old belief that spicy foods cause bizarre dreams true?
This idea goes back at least as far as the ancient Greeks. Famous physician Hippocrates claimed that nightmares could be provoked by a surfeit of unaccustomed food. Is there any truth to this? Although it’s a popular idea that pops up again and again throughout history, scientists haven’t shown much interest in exploring whether or not it’s true. There was one attempt, however. Researchers asked hundreds of college students if the foods they ate provoked disturbing dreams. They found that about 18% of the students did report vivid or disturbing dreams after eating a particular food. Of those, about 20% said the food causing these dreams was spicy. Maybe Hippocrates was right.
How To Time Your Meals
Given what the evidence points to, and my experience with clients, I think its worth paying attention to meal timing. Here’s what I suggest:
- Make sure you have a satisfying and balanced breakfast that provides sufficient protein , quality carbohydrates from fruit, beans, and/or whole grains and plant-based fats . Eating breakfast helps reduce blood sugar spikes throughout the day and keeps your hunger hormones in check. And eating more in the morning and at lunch means you have a better chance of using that fuel as energy compared to eating the bulk of your food at night.
- When practical, keep dinner light and lean and limit snacking after that.
Its reasonable to assume these habits will have a health payoff now and down the road.
Benefits Of Morning Workouts
Morning workouts truly do have an edge, according to multiple research studies, and offer a list of benefits that might even sway some night owls to get their fitness on in the morning.
Can help you establish a fitness routine: People who exercise in the morning are often more consistent simply because morning workouts leave less room for excuses. If you workout first thing in the morning, you can’t skip it in the evening because duties piled up.
May improve your sleep cycle: Waking up early might be difficult at first, but research suggests that a morning exercise habit can shift your circadian rhythm so that your body is naturally more alert in the morning and more tired in the evening, so you fall asleep earlier and can exercise in the morning again. Morning exercise also seems to boost deep sleep more than evening exercise, according to some research. Plus, sleep helps facilitate muscle growth, so you might even see more strength gains if your circadian rhythm and sleep cycle improve.
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How The Reward System Works
We have a bag of sweets and eat one. The reward and pleasure centres of our brain tell us that this is good. So we have another because we now know that when we eat this thing, the result is a pleasant sensation .
In a person who has had adequate sleep, at some point another part of the brain will intervene and remind the person that too many sweets are bad for their teeth and waistline. The behaviour is checked and the sweets put away for another time.
In someone who is sleep-deprived, two factors are at play. Signals at the reward centres are amplified. So, when the person eats the sweet, the sensation is more intense and the drive to eat more is increased.
Secondary to this, the prefrontal cortex is dampened. So the signal to stop is weaker. In effect, our willpower is weaker.
In this example, the sleep-deprived person keeps on eating. The end result is a net calorie intake that is much higher for the sleep-deprived person compared to the person who got enough sleep.
Whats The Best Diet For Healthy Weight Loss
Pick up any diet book and it will claim to hold all the answers to successfully losing all the weight you wantand keeping it off. Some claim the key is to eat less and exercise more, others that low fat is the only way to go, while others prescribe cutting out carbs. So, what should you believe?
The truth is there is no one size fits all solution to permanent healthy weight loss. What works for one person may not work for you, since our bodies respond differently to different foods, depending on genetics and other health factors. To find the method of weight loss thats right for you will likely take time and require patience, commitment, and some experimentation with different foods and diets.
While some people respond well to counting calories or similar restrictive methods, others respond better to having more freedom in planning their weight-loss programs. Being free to simply avoid fried foods or cut back on refined carbs can set them up for success. So, dont get too discouraged if a diet that worked for somebody else doesnt work for you. And dont beat yourself up if a diet proves too restrictive for you to stick with. Ultimately, a diet is only right for you if its one you can stick with over time.
Remember: while theres no easy fix to losing weight, there are plenty of steps you can take to develop a healthier relationship with food, curb emotional triggers to overeating, and achieve a healthy weight.
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Sleep Is Part Of A Healthy Lifestyle
Getting enough sleep can help you maintain a healthy weight, but its just one of many factors. If you want to prevent weight gain or lose weight, be sure to eat a healthy diet and cut back on snacks and empty calories. Physical activity is important, too, but always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
Follow The Mediterranean Diet
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating good fats and good carbs along with large quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, fish, and olive oiland only modest amounts of meat and cheese. The Mediterranean diet is more than just about food, though. Regular physical activity and sharing meals with others are also major components.
Whatever weight loss strategy you try, its important to stay motivated and avoid common dieting pitfalls, such as emotional eating.
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Does Food Affect Your Sleep
The foods you choose to eat, how much you eat, and when, all can affect your sleep. Would you change your diet if you knew it would help you get a full night of uninterrupted sleep? Here is your chance to do just that. Read on to learn how your food choices may be influencing how rested you feel each morning. Get a list of foods that help you sleep better.
Reasons Why You Need To Take An Afternoon Nap
Afternoon napping is one of the many lifestyle tips that are time-tested and followed by generations. “The nap can solve existing problems and prevent those of the future,” writes Rujuta in her live session post on Facebook.
“It is one of the most critical but overlooked aspects of wellbeing. In fact, it is probably also the most misunderstood aspect. People associate it with lethargy, obesity and fear that it may lead to no sleep in the night but nothing could be further away from the truth,” she says.
What’s more is that even Cristiano Ronaldo, amongst the greatest athletes of our times attributes his performances to the afternoon nap.
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Is It Bad To Sleep After A Meal
1 Minute Read
Medically Reviewed by Digestive Disorders
Everyone loves a midnight snack. But could eating before bed actually be bad for you? Weve all been told that eating a meal before bed can have unhealthy side effects, the biggest being weight gain. But depending on what you eat, this might not necessarily be the case. So, how does eating before sleep really affect your body?
What’s Causing The Afternoon Slump
First, you should understand where that sudden crash probably came from. “There seems to be a natural rhythm or set clock in our bodies, so many people tend to feel a little sleepy around 2 or 3 in the afternoon,” says Lona Sandon, RD, MEd, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association and an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “There seems to be something natural about this lull. Some cultures have the siesta, and people find that they’re more productive and better able to concentrate if they take time off after lunch and come back later.”
WebMD’s sleep expert, Michael J. Breus, PhD, author of Beauty Sleep, explains that midday sleepiness is like a miniature version of the drowsiness you feel just before bedtime. “It has to do with a dip in your core body temperature,” Breus says. “Right before you go to sleep at night, your core temperature begins to drop, which is a signal to the brain to release melatonin. The exact same thing happens on a smaller scale between 2 and 4 in the afternoon. It’s a mini-signal to your brain to get sleepy.”
But don’t blame it all on your body’s internal clock — your body makes you sleepy, but your own eating habits may make you fatigued — for a double whammy leading to a massive energy crash. “Often, people don’t fuel their bodies well enough when they start the day,” Sandon tells WebMD.
If you’re feeling sluggish in the early afternoon, ask yourself these questions:
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Fill Up With Fruit Veggies And Fiber
Even if youre cutting calories, that doesnt necessarily mean you have to eat less food. High-fiber foods such as fruit, vegetables, beans, and whole grains are higher in volume and take longer to digest, making them fillingand great for weight-loss.
Its generally okay to eat as much fresh fruit and non-starchy vegetables as you wantyoull feel full before youve overdone it on the calories.
Eat vegetables raw or steamed, not fried or breaded, and dress them with herbs and spices or a little olive oil for flavor.
Add fruit to low sugar cerealblueberries, strawberries, sliced bananas. Youll still enjoy lots of sweetness, but with fewer calories, less sugar, and more fiber.
Bulk out sandwiches by adding healthy veggie choices like lettuce, tomatoes, sprouts, cucumbers, and avocado.
Snack on carrots or celery with hummus instead of a high-calorie chips and dip.
Add more veggies to your favorite main courses to make your dish more substantial. Even pasta and stir-fries can be diet-friendly if you use less noodles and more vegetables.
Start your meal with salad or vegetable soup to help fill you up so you eat less of your entrée.
May Help You Make Better Food Choices
Getting a full nights sleep may help you make healthier food choices.
Lack of sleep alters the way your brain works and can affect decision making. This may make it harder to make healthy food choices and resist tempting foods .
In addition, it appears that the reward centers of the brain are more stimulated by food when you are sleep deprived .
For example, one study found that sleep deprived participants had greater reward-related brain responses after viewing images of high calorie foods. Interestingly, they were also more likely to pay more for food than those who had adequate sleep .
Therefore, after a night of poor sleep, not only is that bowl of ice cream more rewarding, but youll likely have a harder time practicing self-control.
Another study showed that sleep deprivation led to increased smell sensitivity to high calorie foods and greater consumption .
Furthermore, lack of sleep may lead to poorer food choices, such as a higher intake of foods high in calories, sugar, and fat, to compensate for feeling a lack of energy .
Poor sleep can decrease your self-control and decision making abilities, as well as increase your brains reaction to food. Poor sleep has also been linked to an increased intake of foods high in calories, fats, and sugar.
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How Sleep Affects Our Emotions
In one brain imaging study, subjects were assigned into either a normal sleep group or a sleep-deprived group. In the latter, no sleep was allowed from the start of one day, through the night and during the course of the next day .
Both groups were then asked to look at images and rate them as either pleasant or neutral, while their brain activity was examined by MRI scanning.
Sleep-deprived subjects were significantly more likely to rate the images as pleasing compared to the subjects who had had a good nightâs sleep. When their brain activity was examined, this corresponded with an enhanced activation of the pleasure and reward centres.
So what does this mean exactly? When weâre sleep-deprived, a part of the brain called the amygdala, which is involved in the regulation of emotions and emotional behaviour, becomes much more responsive to things perceived as pleasing and those that are rewarding 7.
Our brainâs reward system uses both the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala and drives our behaviour towards things we like and away from things that we donât .
Why Is Sleep Health Important
Sleep, like nutrition and physical activity, is a critical determinant of health and well-being.2 Sleep is a basic requirement for infant, child, and adolescent health and development. Sleep loss and untreated sleep disorders influence basic patterns of behavior that negatively affect family health and interpersonal relationships. Fatigue and sleepiness can reduce productivity and increase the chance for mishaps such as medical errors and motor vehicle or industrial accidents.3,4
Adequate sleep is necessary to:
- Fight off infection
- Support the metabolism of sugar to prevent diabetes
- Perform well in school
- Work effectively and safely
Sleep timing and duration affect a number of endocrine, metabolic, and neurological functions that are critical to the maintenance of individual health. If left untreated, sleep disorders and chronic short sleep are associated with an increased risk of:
- Heart disease
Sleep health is a particular concern for individuals with chronic disabilities and disorders such as arthritis, kidney disease, pain, human immunodeficiency virus , epilepsy, Parkinsons disease, and depression. Among older adults, the cognitive and medical consequences of untreated sleep disorders decrease health-related quality of life, contribute to functional limitations and loss of independence, and are associated with an increased risk of death from any cause.7
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Is Your Medicine Caffeinated
If you have a headache before bed, you might not think twice before popping an Excedrin. But one of this popular headache remedy’s main ingredients is caffeine. It’s not the only medication with caffeine. Many other pain and headache drugs contain this stimulant as well. So do some cold medicines, weight loss pills, and diuretics. Some herbal remedies are caffeinated too. Caffeine lasts a long time in your body, too, so a caffeinated medication taken in the afternoon could still interfere with sleep. The best way to prevent accidental caffeine is to read the label of each medication carefully.
Sleep Less Weigh More
Numerous studies have looked at the link between sleep and weight. Overall, the results show that if we get less sleep than we need, our weight tends to increase2.
A recent clinical trial showed that when people were sleep-deprived:
- they ate significantly more calories.
- they had a preference for fatty foods.
- their energy expenditure did not change3.
Participants ate, on average, 300 extra calories per day when sleep-deprived and most of this extra intake was accounted for by fats.
Another study collated data from more than 170 participants subjected to partial sleep-deprivation and the results showed that just a single night of inadequate sleep led to eating, on average, an extra 385 calories the next day4.
Yet, while participants took in extra calories when sleep-deprived, they did not expend any extra energy. When this pattern continues for several days, the net result is weight gain. In fact, taking in as little as 200 extra calories a day can lead to meaningful weight gain.
To put this in perspective, one pound of fat is the equivalent of 3,500 calories. So fewer than 10 days of sleep-deprivation could lead to you gaining one pound of weight if you eat in a way that a sleep-deprived person would. Thatâs a potential gain of just under three stone per year!
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A Short Afternoon Nap Can Improve Your Mood
Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, regulates sleep, appetite, and mood and creates a sense of satisfaction. Under stressful conditions, however, more serotonin is used while less is synthesized. As a result, people become irritable, depressed, worried, and disconcerted. Even if you cant afford taking 2-hour naps everyday, whenever you do take a nap, more serotonin is released, and all these processes could be avoided.
They Can Help Your Little Ones Too
Many preschool-age children stop napping long before they enter kindergarten. Fact is, naps are critical for learning and development at that age. Children who nap regularly are better able to recall things they learned. Since short-term memory stores are limited at that age, younger kids need more frequent sleep. Itâs an important part of how the brain hangs on to memories.
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