Apple juice - a favorite sugary beverage for kids or dream elixir? When you initially hear that drinking apple juice before bed gives you whacked-out dreams, it’s easy to shove it off as total nonsense. There isn’t a great deal of research on the relationship between apple juice and dreams, but many people on the internet claim that drinking this popular children’s juice before bed gives them lucid dreams. We know that consuming certain foods before going off to sleep have an effect on sleep quality - that’s why we avoid sugary processed foods and go for the chamomile tea when we’re looking for a good night’s rest. But food actually causing dreams? Now that’s just crazy talk.
My own “experiment”
Being such an outlandish claim, I decided to give it a go myself. I ran into my local grocery store within hours of hearing this ridiculous idea, purchased the highest-quality 100% juice I could find, and I was off. Right before bedtime, I chugged down a good 32 ounces of apple juice (should be enough, right?) and within 30 minutes of sliding into my very comfortable bed, I was immediately greeted with a slight headache from the sugar rush. Though I was rudely awakened by my bladder a couple of times throughout the night, I did successfully dream. Sadly, I couldn’t say whether the juice actually helped or not since the dreams were nothing out of the ordinary for me.
The truth behind the crazy internet theory
The main research people use to support this claim comes from a 2006 study on apple products and brain function. The research found that consuming apple juice increases the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which plays a role in memory. The study, which was performed on lab mice, found that acetylcholine from the apple juice may slow mental decline in Alzheimer’s patients, but nothing directly addressed dreaming. So where did they get this idea that apple juice causes bizarre dreams?
Turns out, acetylcholine plays a major role in alert wakefulness and REM sleep - the stage of sleep where you’re most likely to have the most powerful dreams. It’s been discovered that there are high levels of acetylcholine in your brain while being in REM. Through the correlation of acetylcholine deficiency and Alzheimer's disease, it’s been proven that this neurotransmitter is essential to sleeping and dreaming, but the deeper connection remains unclear.
So - fact or crap?
It’s been shown that foods do have an influence on the dreaming brain, though not in the exciting way we hoped. Apple juice and other foods are not the direct cause of vivid dreams, but may indirectly affect your dreams. Consuming food and drink before bed affects your body’s temperature and metabolism, leading to increased brain activity during REM sleep. It’s also possible that certain foods may wake you up in the middle of the night, helping you to better remember your dreams. It looks like apple juice might help with some people’s sleep quality and memory, but saying this forbidden fruit causes lucid dreams seems a bit far-fetched.
When it comes down to it, your wildest dreams are sure to find you if you improve your sleep quality. This includes paying attention to what you eat, adjusting your room temperature, refraining from using your phone in bed, and investing in a high-quality, insanely comfortable mattress such as the Polysleep Mattress!