We've all been told not to eat cheese before bed, or you'll have nightmares. But is it true, or is it just a tale your Mum tells you? And is it just cheese that can affect your dreams when you go to bed on a night? We had a look to find out if food can affect your dreams.

Much of the research has very little evidence to prove that food does affect your dreams, but it has shown that it is possible depending on your tolerance to certain food types.


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  1. Cheese
  2. Chocolate
  3. Spicy Foods
  4. Bananas
  5. Peanut Butter & Jam Sandwiches

1. Cheese

a platter of different types of hard cheese

When it comes to eating cheese before you go to bed, it doesn't necessarily give you nightmares, but it can produce strange dreams. However, studies have shown that they can make your dreams clearer and more vivid, so if your dream's nature is bad, it will obviously make it worse, but the same applies to good dreams.

This is because of the amino acid in dairy products, which seems to have the ability to stabilise people's sleep patterns and reduce stress levels, resulting in making your dreams more memorable and sometimes stranger during the night.

2. Chocolate

a platter of different types of chocolates

Opposite to cheese, chocolate and sweet foods have been shown to cause nightmares and bizarre dreams. Studies have proven that the sugar and caffeine in chocolate and sweet foods can make it difficult to fall asleep, and when you do, produce disturbing nightmares during the night.

That doesn't mean cutting out chocolate completely; just maybe eat it earlier in the day instead of an after-dinner dessert.

3. Spicy Foods

a mexican dish surrounded by peppers and breads

Spicy foods like curries can also cause nightmares. This is because they are more challenging for the body to digest, and they increase your body's temperature, which disturbs brain activity during the night. This results in disturbed sleep because the brain can't switch off and encourages bad dreams once you nod off.

4. Bananas

a bowl of slcied banana

To switch things up a bit, bananas can be good for your dreams. The potassium in them has been proven to boost sleep, so eating them right before bed can send you off into a restful night. However, they also contain melatonin which is also produced by the body to signal it for sleep. For this one, it will depend on the person, but generally, they could be a good nighttime snack.

5. Peanut Butter & Jam Sandwiches

bread slices with jam and peanut butter on

Finally, we have peanut butter and jam sandwiches. Opposite to the other foods we have had so far, peanut butter and jam have been referred to as the perfect dream food. During sleep, the body uses a lot of energy to dream, so you are best eating something that will provide the fuel you need. Studies have shown that peanut butter and jam sandwiches are perfect for this.

That is because sleep and dreams require the brain to be very active, and the brain needs a lot of sugar to maintain this. The bread and jam in PB&J are simple carbohydrates that are great for a good night's sleep as they boost blood sugar and brain chemicals needed for sleep. And the peanut butter adds some extra sugar and just makes your sandwich a bit more exciting.


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