Trick or Treat: Why Halloween Candy and Sleep Don’t Mix

Halloween is a mere twenty days away and while for the kids across the world, this is seen as a great thing, for many parents, it’s a time of year they hope will pass quickly. Besides costumes and parties and tricks, the most beloved part of every kid’s perfect Halloween is of course, the Halloween candy. While it’s all well and good to pig out on October 31st, it’s important to limit your children’s intake of candy for the month of October for more reasons than one. While the obvious rotting of your children’s teeth is seemingly obvious, the affect candy has on their sleep might slip your mind. It’s important to know why candy so negatively impacts a child’s sleeping pattern so that this October, you won’t be running around into the wee hours of the morning with your sleep deprived kid.

The reason sugar consumption inhibits sleep is because it raises your blood sugar. Sugar is also the likely culprit for those who fall asleep alright, but then wake later unable to fall back to sleep. This happens when the blood sugar levels drop too low. The experts at ZocDoc explain that when you eat a lot of sugar right before bed, your blood sugar climbs high and then falls rapidly as your body releases hormones to bring the levels under control. This swing in hormones and blood sugar levels may impair sleep. In general, it is not a good idea to eat a large meal or a lot of calories (including sugar) right before bed for this reason.

Eliminating sugar from your child’s diet doesn’t just mean cutting out cake, cookies, candy, and soda. Although eliminating all of these sources of sugar will benefit their bodies in many ways, in order to get the full sleep benefits that eliminating sugar from the diet can have, it’s necessary to eliminate or largely decrease less obvious sources of sugar as well. What this means is that if you seriously wish to sleep better, you will need to seriously decrease or eliminate altogether, many of the carbohydrate foods that most people consume on a regular basis.

Foods like bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, and cereal will all turn into blood sugar once they are digested, raising your blood glucose level, and subsequently affecting sleep patterns. Also avoid fruit juice as it is a source of a lot of sugar as well.

Obviously, these foods can’t all be eliminated from a growing child’s diet, but limiting their intake of them and also making sure they don’t ingest them too close to bedtime will still significantly improve their sleeping habits.

This dietary change is one that adults should follow as well around Halloween and the holiday seasons in general. Having candy and sugar too close to bed regardless of your age will make it much harder to fall asleep at night.

If you don’t want your kids to feel deprived around this sweet holiday, check out some healthy alternatives to the traditional Halloween treats here. It will keep them calm and restful and you in your nice latex mattress for a peaceful night of sleep! Happy haunting, and remember sometimes tricks are better than treats!

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    Amber Merton

    Amber Merton is an accomplished writer on the topics of green living and sleep. Her work has been covered in numerous online publications. Amber has been a regular author on the PlushBeds blog for the past 7 years.

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