Late-night snacking can sometimes lead to some surprisingly strange dreams. Your pre-bedtime choices can significantly impact the vividness and bizarreness of your dream world. Various foods are known to stir up unusual dreams, turning your sleep into a nightly adventure. Here are some of the foods thought to be behind some of those wild nighttime escapades.

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Cheese, especially aged varieties, contains high levels of tryptophan, an amino acid that boosts serotonin and melatonin production. This can affect your sleep cycle and lead to vivid, and sometimes bizarre, dreams. It’s a common culprit in the realm of dream-triggering foods due to its ability to impact REM sleep.

Spicy Foods

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Spicy foods, such as hot peppers and spicy sauces, can increase your body temperature, making it harder for your body to cool down and enter a restful state. The elevated temperature can lead to restless sleep and vivid dreams as your brain processes the physical discomfort. Additionally, the digestive process can disrupt your sleep patterns.


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Chocolate contains not only caffeine but also theobromine, both of which are stimulants that can keep your brain active even during sleep. This heightened brain activity can result in more vivid and unusual dreams. Dark chocolate, with its higher caffeine content, can be particularly disruptive.


Spicy dill garlic pickles in two mason jars.
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The vinegar in pickles can cause acidity and indigestion for some people, which can lead to disrupted sleep. This disruption can cause you to wake up frequently during the night, resulting in more opportunities for vivid and fragmented dreams as your brain tries to make sense of the frequent awakenings.

Ice Cream

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Ice cream is high in sugar and fat, which can cause a spike in your blood sugar levels before they crash. This fluctuation in blood sugar can lead to restless sleep and vivid dreams. The combination of sugar and dairy can be particularly disruptive to sleep patterns, making your dreams more intense.


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Pasta is high in carbohydrates, which can cause a spike in insulin levels. This spike can lead to a quick drop in blood sugar, potentially waking you up during the night. The fragmented sleep can result in more vivid and memorable dreams as your brain tries to process the interrupted sleep cycle.


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While alcohol might make you feel drowsy and help you fall asleep faster, it disrupts the later stages of the sleep cycle, particularly REM sleep, which is when most dreaming occurs. This disruption can lead to more vivid and often strange dreams as your brain tries to cope with the altered sleep pattern.


Bananas in a basket on a white background.
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Bananas are rich in vitamin B6, which is known to influence dream vividness. While generally beneficial for health, consuming bananas close to bedtime can result in more intense dreams due to their impact on neurotransmitter production and brain activity during sleep.

Tomato Sauce

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Tomato sauce, often high in acidity, can cause indigestion and acid reflux, leading to disrupted sleep. This disruption can trigger more vivid dreams as your body deals with the discomfort and your brain tries to make sense of the interruptions. Spaghetti and other pasta dishes with tomato sauce can be particularly impactful.

Sugary Snacks

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Consuming sugary snacks, such as cookies or candy, before bed can cause a rapid spike and subsequent drop in blood sugar levels. This can lead to restless sleep and more vivid dreams as your brain reacts to the fluctuating glucose levels. The intense energy burst from the sugar can also make it harder to fall into a deep sleep.

Processed Meat

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Processed meats like sausages and pepperoni contain high levels of tyramine, which can increase brain activity and lead to more vivid dreams. The heavy, fatty content of these meats can also cause digestive issues that disrupt sleep and result in more fragmented and intense dreaming sessions.

Eating These 11 Foods Before Bed Could Ruin Your Sleep

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Ever wonder why some nights you just can’t seem to catch those Z’s? It might have more to do with your dinner or late-night snack than you think. Here’s a heads-up on 11 foods that could be sabotaging your sleep without you even realizing it. Let’s take a look at what to skip before hitting the hay, so you can drift off easier and enjoy a deeper sleep.

Read it Here: Eating These 11 Foods Before Bed Could Ruin Your Sleep

12 Expert Tips For The Best Sleep Of Your Life

A woman in a white shirt and striped sleep mask stretches while lying in bed, surrounded by white bedding.
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Struggling to get a good night’s sleep? Sometimes it feels like no matter what you do, restful sleep is just out of reach. But what if the secret to better sleep was right in your bedroom? With a few clever changes, you can turn your space into a sleep haven and wake up refreshed and rejuvenated every morning.

Read it Here: 12 Expert Tips For The Best Sleep Of Your Life

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Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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