Will Halloween Treats Wreck My Sleep?
Halloween is almost here and the stores are loaded with sugary goodness like Snickers, Butterfingers, Reese’s – mmmm. While your little ghouls and goblins are prowling from door-to-door, what do you do? Don't lie—you dip into the pot and enjoy a few Milky Ways or Starbursts of your own. With all the walking around the neighborhood, you have to keep your blood sugar up, right?
But how do those delicious Halloween candies affect your sleep?
Sugar ruins sleep
It’s no secret that sugar raises your blood sugar. But did you know it’s also a sleep thief? You might fall asleep at your usual time but then wake in a zombie state at 3 a.m. You'll end up feeling like a vampire the next day because you can’t fall back asleep!
Consuming sugar before bed creates a roller-coaster effect with blood sugar, quickly increasing and just as quickly dropping off as hormones race to bring the levels back under control. The deadly cocktail of hormones mixed with high sugar levels will impair your normal sleep schedule.
To eat or not to eat?
Your little ghosts and monsters just spent several hours walking around the neighborhood and now they’re exhausted. Yes, it might be bedtime, but Halloween requires easing up on the rules.
“I recommend limiting yourself and children to one to three bit-sized candy bars after the night’s festivities,” says Ranine Carter, a registered dietitian from at the Children’s Hospital of Alabama. Ranine also advises giving the kids a light, healthy snack before allowing the candy treat.
Alternate uses for Halloween candy
Just because you have mountains of candy, doesn’t mean all of it has to be eaten by you or the kids:
- Locate a Halloween candy buyback nonprofit to buy your candy and ships to troops overseas. In 2014, they donated 12 million pieces of candy!
- Freeze some of the candy and use it later for impromptu milkshakes and cookies.
- M&M’s and other candies make a great addition to healthy trail mix
- Use the candy as a learning tool or when helping with homework or for chore incentives
Best and worst candies
Yahoo ranked some of the best and worst Halloween candies. Check out which treats topped the lists and some bite-sized facts.
- Mr. Goodbar – In just 3 bites you’ll have eaten the same calories as a Big Mac
- Swedish Fish – Made with 2 sugars and carnauba wax which is used to polish cars
- Starburst – Contains more sugar than any other candy. Also, packed with greasy kernel oil
- Tootsie Pop – This low calorie candy will burn with just 5 minutes of jumping jacks
- Kit-Kat – This light wafer treat is low in calories and sugar with just 7g
- Jelly Belly Jelly Beans– The slimmest way to enjoy cotton candy, chocolate and strawberry shortcake. Jelly beans are made with pure fruit purees.
This blog was originally published on Restonic.com and does not provide medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on Restonic.com. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
How do you get your best night's sleep after Halloween Trick-or-Treating?
Tell us in the comments below!