5 Foods to Avoid if You Don't Want Nightmares

Posted by Erika Lang on

You’re walking down a dark hallway, dread creeping its way to your chest, and right as you hit the last door on the right, a dark creature bursts out of the door! In the next moment, you’re wide awake with your heart racing as the adrenaline leaves your body. A classic nightmare. We’ve all experienced nightmares in the past, but did you know the foods you eat before bed can influence the kind of dream you have? We’ve compiled a list of foods you should avoid if you don’t want to avoid having spooky dreams. 

1. Cheese and Dairy

Don’t cut the cheese before bed! Literally. Across a multitude of studies that have been conducted about the correlation between dreams and food, cheese and dairy have proven to be irksome and influential on one’s dreams. 43.8% of participants reported disturbing dreams during one particular study where having cheese or dairy before bedtime was linked to unsavory dreams. 

2. Greasy Junk Food

A selection of greasy foods.

That late-night basket of fries and fried chicken might sound like a good idea at 2AM, but fried food is another culprit that contributes to nightmares because of the high fat content. It was the second most blamed food group, in fact. As tempting as they might be, ditch these snacks until daylight hours. 

3. Spicy Foods 

A selection of spices.

The Bear Team loves hot Cheetos, but we think twice before snacking on these spicy snacks at night. Spicy foods can also affect your sleep. When eating spicy foods, your body temperature can fluctuate. This can lead to a change in REM sleep. Those who ate spicy foods before bed reported having difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Disturbing dreams were also reported. One way to help regulate your body temperature while sleeping is to sleep on a mattress with cooling technology, which all Bear mattresses have built in or add in a Bear Cooling Pillow!

4. Alcohol


Ditch the metaphorical night cap for a better night of sleep. Those who drank alcohol before bed reported much higher rates of being unable to sleep soundly. Turns out having a few before bed could contribute to having more stressful dreams at night. For a more restful night (and more pleasant morning), we’d recommend staying away from alcohol before bed. 

5. Sugar

Sugar in a measuring spoon.

It turns out eating sugar right before bed does not lead to sweeter dreams. Sugar was cited as an influence to those who experienced disturbing or bizarre dreams. Avoiding food and drinks high in sugar might help you stay clear of any nightmares. 

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