Does food affect your dreams? Do you think this ghoulish burger can give you nightmares?

31 Oct Does food affect your dreams? Do you think this ghoulish burger can give you nightmares?

In the USA, BURGER King, the fast-food chain, claims its Halloween burger will literally give you nightmares — if that is what you are looking for. The brand released the results of some research they conducted in partnership Paramount Trials, Florida Sleep & Neuro Diagnostic Services Inc, and Goldforest Inc. The study which was conducted over 10 nights with 100 participants who ate the Nightmare King before they went to bed. By tracking various signals from the sleeping subjects including their heart rate, brain activity, and breath, a group of doctors and scientists conjectured about whether the individuals had vivid dreams.

The scary burger with a glazed green sesame seed bun has ¼ lb of beef (pre-cooked weight), a white meat crispy chicken fillet, melted American cheese, thick cut bacon, creamy mayonnaise, and onions.

Dr. Jose Gabriel Medina, a sleep medicine specialist and the study’s lead researcher, said in a press release that the combination of proteins and cheese in the sandwich is behind the rise in disturbing dreams and it led to “an interruption of the subjects’ REM (rapid eye movement) cycles, during which we experience the majority of our dreams”. He also claims that:  “According to previous studies, 4% of the population experiences nightmares in any given night, But, after eating the Nightmare King, the data obtained from the study indicated that the incidence of nightmares increased by 3.5 times”.

On the other hand, there people who are skeptical about this study. One of them is Tore Nielsen, PhD, a professor of psychiatry and director of the Dream and Nightmare Laboratory at Sacré-Coeur (Sacred Heart) Hospital, an affiliate of the University of Montreal.  He claims that the study has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal and so any conclusions about the Nightmare Burger’s effects on dreams should be taken with a grain of salt.

However, he recognizes that some peer-reviewed studies have found that food may affect your dreams. “So far, subjects’ self-reports would suggest that food can affect dreams and nightmares — at least some people say they are aware of such an effect,” said Nielsen.

In 2015 Nielsen and Russell Powell investigated the connection between food and dreams. They administered surveys to 396 freshman college students. They found that 17.8 % of participants believed that eating before bed, or eating a certain food would influence their dreams. This study published in Frontiers in Psychology, found that the most commonly blamed food was dairy. But some students also pointed their fingers at sugary, spicy, starchy, and meaty foods.

The students only reported on “bizarre” or “disturbing” dreams, so it’s possible that food may also induce other kinds of dreams, like ones involving sex, flying, falling, eating, or drinking.