Does Milk Give Your Husband Night Terrors? Because It Does to Mine!
Milk is giving my husband night terrors! It’s true. And I’ll explain why.
First of all, we never have cereal in the house. But my husband, Rob, went food shopping and came home with two boxes of raisin bran and a gallon of whole milk. It was like he was a little kid again. Every day I saw him at the kitchen table slurping his cereal and milk with a big silver spoon. At the end of each snack, nothing was left in the bowl. He consumed both boxes in less than four days.
During those four days, Rob recounted tales of strange, vivid nightmares that seemed more real than reality itself. Naturally, my eyebrows furrowed, and my fingers began their dance across the keyboard. The question was simple: “Can milk cause weird dreams?”
Let me cut through the suspense: it turns out, yes, it can.
Milk And Dairy Causes Night Terrors
Before you go pouring that milk down the drain, hear me out. Various studies have linked the consumption of dairy to changes in dream patterns. How, you might ask?
- Tryptophan Overload: Milk is rich in tryptophan, an amino acid that is a precursor to serotonin, which is involved in sleep regulation. Elevated levels of serotonin might influence our dreams and cause them to be more vivid or bizarre.
- Digestive Disturbance: Dairy can be tough to digest for some, causing minor stomach upsets that can disrupt a person’s sleep cycle. Disruptions in our sleep cycle can lead to increased REM sleep where most dreaming occurs. If you’re lactose intolerant, or didn’t know you were lactose intolerant, you might have weird dreams.
- Cheese Dreams: Although cheese isn’t milk per se, it is a dairy product, and various folklore tales (and even a study) have shown that certain cheeses can lead to particularly vivid dreams. Though the exact reasons remain debated, one theory is the presence of fatty acids in cheese that might affect sleep patterns.
- Psychological Connection: Sometimes the knowledge of consuming something different before sleep, like Rob and his newfound milk adventure, can unconsciously make us more alert to our dream state. In essence, if you think it might happen, it just might.
Do You Have Dairy Dreams?
Not everyone will react to dairy in the same way. In fact, only 18% of milk-drinkers experiences night terrors. For some, a glass of warm milk might be a fast track to dreamless slumber, while for others, like Rob, it’s more like a ticket to Nightmare on Elm Street. I personally haven’t had milk in many years because I am definitely lactose intolerant. But the next time I have dairy, I will try and remember if I have any vivid dreams. Until then, I’ll stick to almond or oat milk.
For now, in our household, Rob’s milk journey has been paused. He’s back to his regular, two hard boiled eggs with a cold brew routine. He’s been sleeping much better since!