Peanut Butter And Poor Sleep

I think not many adults will be having before bedtime snacks of peanut butter. You might want to keep it in mind though if you have children, who like me, sometimes don't easily associate cause and effect.


This may be common knowledge. I had never heard of it. It took me a while to get it accepted by my brain, but it finally did and it did the hard way.

Years back, I was visiting a friend. During our conversation, I kept yawning. I apologized and said. 'You know, I didn't sleep very well last night and I think maybe a peanut butter snack was the cause'.

He said, 'Well, I can tell you this. A lot of times when I'm out making deliveries, I'll start to get sleepy over in the afternoon. And when I do, I'll stop at some convenience store and get snack crackers with peanut butter. Soon, I'm wide awake and make it fine the rest of the afternoon'.

A couple of times since then, I've had restless nights that I halfheartedly attributed to peanut butter. Then I forgot all about it.

I wont forget last night any time soon. I ate very little all day yesterday. I tried to stay busy and burn a few extra calories. I'm at least 20 pounds over my ideal weight. (My GP has started putting my BMI ((Body Mass Index)) on the 'This Visit's Summary' I get every time I see him. I do think he's trying to tell me something).

Well, late last night my stomach started growling. Without remembering or giving any thought to the consequences, I helped myself to a couple of small slices of French bread topped with one of my favorite sweet tooth goodies; a spread made of crunchy peanut butter and orange marmalade.

Later, I was having trouble getting to sleep and blamed it on the peanut butter. I thought, 'Not to worry, I'll drift off in half an hour or so'. Well, People, it didn't work quite that way.

I was awake at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 o'clock. And in between, I had some of the most bizarre and most vivid dreams I've ever had. I don't remember dreaming in years. The only good thing to come of this is, at least I know I can still dream.

I wont be burning any extra calories, today. I'll be lucky if I can keep my fat carcass out of the bed. I feel like... well, let's just say, 'woe is me'.

I've learned a lesson the hard way, one I'm not likely to forget for a long time. No peanut butter after 5:00 PM.

Am I alone in this, or have you experienced something similar, or at least heard about it? One thing's for sure, while I'm not likely to have great, great nieces and nephews staying over for a night; If I did, and if they wanted a late snack, they'd get a cookie and a cup of milk. Never Peanut Butter.


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July 25, 20190 found this helpful

That's very interesting. I will be curious to hear what other people think.

I did a little internet research and I can't find anything that suggests that peanut butter causes poor sleep. In fact, most sources claim the opposite. Here is a webpage about food and sleep that suggests it as a good bedtime snack option.

I wonder if the peanut butter is reacting to a medication to cause the insomnia. You might want to mention this to your doctor the next time you go in to make sure.

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July 25, 20190 found this helpful

Thanks Jess

Some interesting points in your reply. I don't think there's a connection to my medication as I noticed this 40 years ago when I was on no meds. It could be that I just have an uncommon sensitivity to something in peanut butter.


Here's what really irks me. If it kept me wide awake, there have been many times I could have used that side effect to my advantage. But it locks me in at a point where I'm almost asleep but can never quite make it.

Thanks for the link. I'll check it out. I did read somewhere that turkey is a good late snack due to its tryptophan content which can have a slight calming effect.

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July 29, 20190 found this helpful

Hi, Jess. Have you ever watched a bunch of kids after eating Hallowe'en candy? Beyond wakeful! The point? Most commercial peanut butters contain sugar. Perhaps check the ingredients of your preferred brand: that may be the culprit.

On another note, since running across Joel Fuhrman's book, Eat to Live, I've had absolutely no problem with losing weight and keeping it off. Might help you, too? Check it out?

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