Halloween has come and gone for another year and the kids are loaded with sugary goodness – Snickers, Butterfingers, Reese’s – mmmm. After the little ghouls and goblins prowled from door-to-door, what do you do? Did you dip into the pot and enjoy a few Milky Ways or Starbursts.
As we packed our pumpkin costumes away for another year, we investigated how those delicious Halloween candies affect sleep. As an added bonus, we found some tips for getting your tiny trick-or-treaters a good night’s sleep after all the fun on Halloween.
But, first let’s kick off Halloween with a fun video, courtesy of Jimmy Kimmel. For the past few years, Kimmel has challenged parents to pretend they ate all their kids’ Halloween Candy, shoot video of it, and upload that video to YouTube. While there’s a whole lot of heartbroken kids (for a couple of seconds until their parents fess up to the truth), there are a few adorable kids who immediately forgive their parents.
It’s no secret that sugar raises your blood sugar. But did you know it’s also a sleep thief? When you fall asleep and wake up in a zombie state at 3 am and end up feeling like a vampire because you can’t fall asleep. Yuck!
Consuming sugar before bed creates a roller-coaster effect with blood sugar, quickly increasing and just as quickly dropping off as hormones race to bring the levels back under control. The deadly cocktail of hormones mixed with high sugar levels will impair your normal sleep schedule – to say the least. Might want to ditch the candies and stick to Netflix and chilling instead.
Your little ghosts and goblins just spent several hours walking around the neighborhood – and now they’re exhausted. Yes it might be bedtime but Halloween requires easing up on the rules. “I recommend limiting yourself and children to one to three bit-sized candy bars after the night’s festivities,” says Ranine Carter, a registered dietitian from at the Children’s Hospital of Alabama. Ranine also advises giving the kids a light, healthy snack before allowing the candy treat.
Just because you have mountains of candy, doesn’t mean it has to be eaten by you or the kids. Try out these ideas.
• Locate a Halloween candy buyback nonprofit to buy your candy and ships to troops overseas. In 2014, they donated 12 million pieces of candy!
• Freeze some of the candy and use it later for impromptu milkshakes and cookies.
• M&M’s and other candies make a great addition to healthy trail mix
• Use the candy as a learning tool or when helping with homework or for chore incentives
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