How eating certain foods before bed will affect your sleep

By Evrod Cassimy - Reporter/Anchor

For some, when the clock strikes midnight it's a time to count sheep.

But for others, their stomach tells them otherwise.

"I'm a snacker, so I'll get up in the middle of the night and I'll eat ice cream or I'll eat chocolate or something, and I'll go back to bed," said Dan Henry, a meteorologist.

For Henry,  the connection is becoming more clear.

"I'd have trouble once I fell asleep, staying asleep. I'd notice that I'd have trouble staying asleep and I'd notice that I'd have unusually vivid dreams once I got to sleep," he said.

Is the late night bite to blame? Dr. Glenn Adams, medical director of Sarasota Memorial Hospital's Sleep Disorder Clinic says yes and no.

"If you eat foods that are highly saturated fats, sugary, sweet drinks or deserts, stuff like that, those tend to decrease the production of serotonin," said Adams.

Serotonin is a mood relaxing hormone, essential for a good night's sleep.

"If you have caffeine, a piece of chocolate, chocolate ice cream and the caffeine is upsetting your sleep, then you might not be sleeping quite as well. You're going to be more likely to remember your dreams, typically the dreams we remember we wake up from," said Adams.

Instead of the sweet stuff, opt for foods high in melatonin like berries. Perhaps a little chicken, milk, or cottage cheese.

Adams said it's best to talk with your doctor about healthy options.

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