Does eating spicy food really give us nightmares?

According to research from the Cleveland Clinic’s Sleep Disorders Center, it IS possible, but it’s not just spicy food. Because eating anything too close to bedtime can trigger more bad dreams.

Dr. Charles Bae is a sleep expert who says, when we eat right before bed, our body is working to digest the food, which increases our temperature. 

And that’s a problem, because we need our core body temperature to drop to trigger our sleep hormones.

Also, when we sleep we go through several cycles, that each take about 90 minutes. The deepest cycle is called “REM sleep” – and it’s when our brain becomes most active, and we dream.

But Dr. Bae says if we eat before bed, our brain stays more active all night long, so, when REM sleep hits, we’re more likely to have weird dreams – because our brain is even more awake than usual, and it’s processing more negative emotions that can turn into nightmares.

So if you’re having nightmares - sleep experts say avoid eating within 3 hours of bed, and steer clear of spicy foods, greasy foods, or heavy foods like dairy.