How many of you had eaten delicious dishes like Biryiani or Kebab, went to sleep and landed up having a horrible nightmare? Sounds awful, but I had. I remember I had went to a marriage ceremony where I had loads of spicy dishes as usual and ended up having dream which ultimately turned jumping off from a cliff.
If so, you must be wandering what is the link between food and sleep? I mean it is quite impossible to link an external stimulus with a cognitive effect, right? While there are no specific theories or proven hypothesis which connects these two non overlapping areas, several people has reported that having spicy foods or dairy products can actually result in a disastrous dream.
In fact there are no hypothesis supporting the above claim, several psychologists say that certain enzymes present in the food (TRPV1, Allicin, Nonivamide, Capsazepine) can actually affect the body and wake you up throughout the night, aiding you to remember the dreams even better. Let us imagine that we have taken a large sized pizza or a couple of jumbo burger just before going to sleep and subsequently, you feel something rumbling inside your digestive system asserting indigestion after having a giant, spicy, pepperoni pizza dinner. Since your digestive system is not well or in other words “Upset”, it is more likely that you will wake up more often from your sleep accelerating your chances of remembering a nightmare even more than normal. So perhaps the food didn’t influence the nightmare—maybe the food simply made you remember it which the influenced your dream.
Scientists have concluded that dreams are influenced by not what you eat but by when you eat it. Dining on a heavy and a spicy meal, just before switching in for the night boosts your body’s temperature and metabolism—two synergies that result in more brain activity during the REM stage.
By: Sayan Basak