Is what you're eating before bed affecting your dreams?
HEALTH - Everyone knows the feeling of grogginess and irritability waking up some mornings. Could what you're eating before bed affect the quality of your sleep? For some, when the clock strikes midnight, it's time to count sheep. But for others, like SNN's Weekend Meteorologist, Dan Henry, their stomach tells them otherwise.
He said, "I'm a snacker, so I'll get up in the middle of the night and I'll eat ice cream or ill eat chocolate or something and I'll go back to bed." For Dan, the consequence is unmissable.
"I'd have trouble once I fell asleep, staying asleep. I'd notice that I'd have trouble staying asleep and I'd notice that I'd have unusually vivid dreams once I got to sleep," he said. Dan said he usually doesn't remember his dreams the morning after. He said, "It would be something or someone from my past but it would be alternate reality almost but it would be like it happened in my dream differently from how it happened it real life."
Is the late night bite to blame? Dr. Glenn Adams, Medical Director of Sarasota Memorial Hospital's Sleep Disorder Clinic said 'yes' and 'no'.
"If you eat foods that are highly saturated fats, sugary, sweet drinks or deserts, stuff like that, those tend to decrease the production of Serotonin," Dr. Adams said. Serotonin is the mood-relaxing hormone, essential for a good night's sleep.
"If you have caffeine...a piece of chocolate...chocolate ice cream and the caffeine is upsetting your sleep, then you might not be sleeping quite as well, you're going to be more likely to remember your dreams, typically the dreams we remember we wake up from," he said.
Instead, opt for foods high in Melatonin, like berries. "Stuff that has tryptophan in it, turkey, chicken, milk, cottage cheese," he said.
If a nighttime dessert or cup of Joe doesn't disrupt your sleep, Dr. Adams said, "If I feel just as good, with or without the caffeine, it's probably not playing a role, but for him(Dan Henry), if he has the chocolate and it bothers him, don't do it like Henny Youngman might have said."