Halloween Candy, Scary Movies and Sleep Quality
Spooky season is finally upon us! Eating sweets, watching horror films, staying up late. Let’s explore the relationship between Halloween candy, scary movies, and sleep quality.
We don’t normally think about how the holidays can affect our sleep. Studies show that consuming sugar before bed, watching scary films, and staying up late disrupts our natural biological clock and results in lighter and disruptive sleep… So before you indulge in those late-night treats consider these easy tricks and treat yourself to better sleep and overall better health.
Eat your sweets earlier in the day. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, research shows that “diet quality influences sleep quality”. Sugar, among other high saturated fat foods, releases serotonin and dopamine in the brain that causes “happy” sensations. Once your body crashes from these spikes of insulin levels, you feel groggy and irritable until you have more. This is not very helpful when we’re trying to sleep at night.
What you do right before bed can result in restless sleep. This time of year, as we take in more scary films, it is important to consider the effects these movies can have on our psychological health and sleep quality as increased levels of anxiety do to your body when you’re trying to sleep. While most experts believe that nightmares are a result of everyday stress and trauma, scary movies may also creep up in your sleep. As fear and adrenaline rush through our bodies during a scary movie, anxiety can trigger the body’s ‘fight or flight’ hormones by releasing cortisol. Cortisol is our natural human response to fear and stress. It has kept us alive for thousands of years but again… this is not very helpful when we’re trying to sleep!
Schedule your Halloween activities earlier in the day so that you can enjoy the festivities while getting a good night’s rest. If you’re anything like me and enjoy staying up late, but keep in mind that our bodies need sleep! Disrupting your circadian rhythm can affect your overall health. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, studies have found an increased rate of heart disease, diabetes, and other health conditions when we frequently stay up late. Sleep cannot be recovered by sleeping-in more or going to bed early and waking up early. Regularity in your sleep schedule is what produces quality sleep.
So before you enjoy this year’s spooky festivities, consider these tricks on how to overcome the Halloween scaries and treat yourself to better health.
“For optimal health, it is important to make lifestyle choices that promote healthy sleep, such as eating a nutritious diet and exercising regularly.”
-Dr. Nathaniel Watson
American Academy of Sleep Medicine President
Thanks for reading Halloween Candy, Scary Movies, and Sleep Quality! To learn more about sleep-disordered breathing, snoring, and obstructive sleep apnea, check out our homepage or give us a call today ((614) 396-8286) and talk with one of our sleep professionals. You can even schedule a free consultation online.
Interested to learn more about the holidays impacting your sleep and health? Check out our Thanksgiving article here where we explore the relationship between overeating and sleep health, along with tips to improve your sleep quality.