Who can’t resist the lure of chocolate? Most of us it seems. Australians are spending over $185 million on chocolate every Easter. Undeniably, consumption of chocolate has some benefits to the body. Cocoa is a good source of magnesium, iron, phosphorous, zinc and antioxidants.
However, like coffee and tea, you might be sabotaging your sleep with a hidden source of caffeine. An average milk chocolate bar contains nine milligram of caffeine, three times as much as a decaffeinated coffee. Dark chocolate packs an even bigger punch with a caffeine content of 40-80 milligrams. That’s up there with coffee and more than a soft drink.
What’s more, chocolate contains stimulants such as theobromine that can increase your heart rate, and phenylethylamine – the same chemical that occurs naturally in the brain – stimulating euphoria and sexual drive. The bottom line is, chocolate can be an unwanted mood booster when you’re preparing to sleep.
When you’re nibbling on your Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies this Easter holiday remember to limit your portions before bedtime, or look for sleep friendly alternatives such as carbohydrate rich snacks like cereal, yogurt, berries and bananas and if all else fails dip them in honey, not chocolate!