Do bananas give you nightmares? Yes, bananas can indirectly give you nightmares by increasing the length of time you spend in REM sleep. Bananas also make you more likely to remember your dreams and make the dreams you do have more vivid. So, if you happen to have a nightmare after eating a banana before bed, you will probably have a ‘worse’ nightmare and will remember it more easily.
Is it bad to eat bananas at night?
Eating bananas at night can have some unusual side effects, and in particular can cause you to have more vivid dreams.
Bananas are high in natural sugar
Bananas also contain high levels of natural sugars. Eating sugars before bed will raise your blood sugar levels and increase your insulin response. This causes your body to have energy and think that you are ready for activity, when in fact we are about to go to sleep.
Avoid sugary foods immediately before bed
It’s best to avoid eating bananas and other sugary foods before bed, as doing so can stop you from getting to sleep easily and also affect your sleep quality. Aside from that, eating sugary foods before bed can cause unwanted weight gain.
Eat bananas earlier in the day for maximum benefits
However, bananas are generally good for you, as they are high in essential minerals such as potassium and magnesium. Eating bananas earlier in the day can actually help you sleep. Jus don’t eat them right before bed.
Do bananas give you nightmares?
Bananas contain potassium, which helps to regulate the heatbeat and also helps your cells to work efficiently. But, potassium has also been linked to increasing REM sleep.
Normally, as part of a good night’s sleep you will have periods of REM sleep. During these periods you will have dreams, which you may or may not remember.
Potassium and REM sleep (dreaming sleep)
Increased levels of potassium has been linked to longer periods of REM sleep. You may think that this is a good thing, and indeed for people who struggle to get enough restful sleep or who tend to have a disrupted sleep cycle, eating foods rich in potassium can lead to better sleep.
However, in people who have enough potassium, consuming more of it may extend REM sleep beyond what we normally experience.
Longer REM sleep and nightmares
Longer periods of REM sleep in turn has been linked with bad dreams or stressful dreams. The reason for this is currently unclear, but may be linked to changes in the stress hormone cortisol throughout the night.
Bananas and nightmares
So, bananas can indeed trigger nightmares if you eat them before bed as they raise your potassium levels, which makes you have longer REM sleep, and which in turn can make you have weird dreams or scary dreams.
How do bananas make your dreams more vivid?
As well as potentially causing nightmares by increasing your REM sleep, eating bananas at night can also make you dreams more vivid.
Magnesium and vivid dreams
How do bananas help you remember your dreams?
Interestingly, bananas have a particular combination of nutrients that affect dreaming and help you remember your dreams.
B6 helps us to remember our dreams
Bananas contain vitamin B6, which has recently been found to help people remember their dreams.
Combine this with the potasium and magnesium content in bananas and you are likely to have more dreams, more vivid dreams, and remember them more easily.
Can eating bananas be good for sleep?
Eating bananas generally is actually a great way to promote better sleep quality. Eating foods rich in magnesium and potassium can assist our bodies in regulating our sleep cycle and keep us asleep for longer.
Bananas and melatonin
Bananas also help our bodies produce melatonin, which is known as the sleep hormone. This hormone again helps you regulate your sleep-wake cycle and helps you fall asleep.
Eat bananas earlier in the day for better sleep
Because eating bananas can really help you sleep better, we suggest eating them early in the day, such as at breakfast time. This allows your body time to process the potassium, magnesium and B6 – all of which will help you sleep better. It also allows our body to process the natural sugar in bananas well before bed time to avoid any disruption to sleep.
Read also: How to go back to sleep after a nightmare
What should you eat before bed instead of a banana?
If you feel hungry immediately before bed then a good option is to turn to a high protein snack. Pre-sleep protein can be helpful in maintaining muscle mass without affecting the quality of your sleep. Think of a small amount of lean meat or a protein bar.
Read also: Which foods give you night terrors?
Conclusion: Do bananas give you nightmares?
Bananas can give you nightmares if you eat them before bed. This is because they contain high levels of potassium, which can make you have longer REM sleep and which in turn can make you have weird dreams or scary dreams. Bananas also contain magnesium, which helps us to sleep, and when we sleep better we tend to have more vivid dreams. So, if you want to avoid having nightmares, don’t eat bananas before bed! Instead, have a high protein snack before sleep.