It’s inevitable that Easter weekend brings with it mountains of chocolate via grandparents, teachers, neighbours, family members and of course from the Easter Bunny himself. But have you ever thought about how chocolate consumption during the Easter period may be affecting your sleep?
In 2016, statistics concluded that 40,000 tonnes of Easter confectionery are churned out each year, which is a lot of sugary goodness! So we’re letting you in on all the best advice to get an “egg”celent night’s sleep, despite the chocolate overload.
Despite what you may think, it’s not only the sugar in chocolate that may keep you up at night, though that could be a factor. In fact chocolate, like coffee, tea and soft drinks, contains caffeine, so it’s wise to try and keep chocolate consumption to a minimum before bed. One study found that consuming caffeine six hours before bedtime reduced total sleep time by one hour. These effects can also be stronger in older adults, so keep this in mind before you dive into some Easter eggs for dessert.
So, how can you satisfy your sweet tooth without sabotaging your sleep? The trick is all about balance. So before unwrapping the foil on that chocolate bunny, try snacking on foods high in Vitamin B6 such as bananas and whole grain cereals. These aid in the creation of melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness).
Or when choosing your chocolate purchases this Easter, try reaching for dark chocolate instead of milk. Dark chocolate, while higher in caffeine, is proven to stimulate the production of endorphins and chemicals in the brain that bring on good feelings. It also contains chemical serotonin, which acts as an antidepressant.
So, when you’re munching on your chocolate bunny this Easter, keep moderation and time of day in mind!