If you run a Google search for “Does drinking apple juice before bed cause weird dreams?” you’d be surprised by how many chat rooms discuss this phenomenon. Many claim to have nightmares, while others experience lucid dreams. Does apple juice cause weird dreams? And if so, would other apple products, like apple cider vinegar, have a similar effect on the mind?
While thought-provoking questions, there is currently no study that proves apple juice causes weird dreams. However, that doesn’t mean apple juice doesn’t affect our bodies in other ways, including sleep quality.
What Does Apple Juice Contain?
Whole apples are very healthy and nutritious—they’re good for weight loss, may improve heart health and lower the risk of diabetes, and are a good source of fiber. Juicing may reduce these health benefits since they’re mostly found in the flesh and skin of the apple, but apple juice still provides beneficial properties to the body.
The pros and cons of drinking apple juice are as follows:
- Apple juice keeps you hydrated. Apple juice contains 88% water and is easy to consume. Many hospitals serve apple juice to patients after medical procedures, because it’s easier on the stomach and won’t cause nausea.
- Benefits of plant compounds. If part of the flesh is retained during the juicing process (i.e., store-bought apple juice that isn’t clear, or homemade juicing), then these plant compounds may protect cells from inflammation and oxidation damage.
- May improve heart health. Apple juice that contains part of its flesh may reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) from building up in arteries, allowing more blood to pump to and from the heart.
- Can cause weight gain. Apple juice is easy to consume—many may drink more than the recommended amount, whether because they’re dehydrated or love the taste, leading to consuming more calories. Plus, unlike milk, apple juice doesn’t satisfy hunger pangs.
- Inadequate source of vitamins and minerals. Store-bought apple juice supplies less than 10 percent of your daily intake. Instead, look for apple juice fortified with vitamin C for more nutrients, though if you’re looking for more, eating a whole apple is the best option.
- Contains high levels of sugar. Many store-bought apple juice brands contain high amounts of sugar. Excessive sugar intake may cause weight gain and spikes in blood sugar. To avoid this, choose apple juice brands made from 100 percent juice—these brands will have no added sugar. Plus, if you pair a glass of apple juice with protein and healthy fat (i.e., toast with peanut butter), it helps reduce the high-sugar impact.
How Apple Juice Affects the Brain
Apple juice supports the brain—antioxidants shield the brain from damage and may improve anxiety and restlessness, particularly in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Apple juice may also improve memory by preventing a decrease in the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Neurotransmitters are chemicals that transmit messages to other nerve cells and are vital for memory and brain health. More acetylcholine can also slow down the mental decline in Alzheimer’s patients and may improve memory.
Because apple juice may increase acetylcholine levels in the brain, it may lead to vivid dreams, though there is no conclusive evidence yet to prove otherwise.
Which fruit juice is good to drink at night?
Tart cherry juice is an excellent choice as a nighttime beverage. Cherry juice contains high levels of melatonin and phytochemical procyanidin B-2, a chemical that protects tryptophan as it travels to the brain. Tryptophan is an amino acid that increases melatonin production in the brain—we can’t naturally produce tryptophan, so we have to ingest it.
What should I drink to fall asleep faster?
Other drinks that can help you fall asleep faster include milk, herbal teas (like chamomile or lemon balm), and cherry juice. These drinks contain tryptophan, an amino acid that helps produce melatonin in the body, and natural relaxants to calm our thoughts and nervous system.
Best Time to Drink Apple Juice
Fresh or store-bought apple juice is best taken during the day. The best time to drink apple juice is first thing in the morning before breakfast—since your body has been “fasting” while sleeping at night, it’ll absorb nutrients quickly.
Another time to drink apple juice is before and after exercise. Apple juice increases energy that may encourage you to push yourself during a workout, burning carbs and reducing belly fat. Apple juice may also restore sugar levels and replenish lost nutrients, but watch how much you drink—a glass of apple juice may contain the same amount of sugar as three scoops of ice cream.
Don’t drink apple juice right before bed—it may cause a spike in blood sugar, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep and increase bathroom trips in the middle of the night. Instead, if you’re looking for a beverage to induce sleep, choose a cup of chamomile tea or a glass of warm milk.
This article is for informational purposes and should not replace advice from your doctor or other medical professional.