Alaska Sleep Education Center

Will Halloween Treats Wreck My Kid’s Sleep, and Mine, too?

Posted by Jennifer Hines

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on Oct 25, 2019 8:00:00 PM

Trick or Treaters enjoying Halloween.

Trick or treat, who wants to sleep? Mom and Dad do!

Halloween is almost here and the stores are loaded with sugary goodness – Snickers, Butterfingers, Reese’s – mmmm. While the little ghouls and goblins are prowling from door-to-door, what do you do? Dip into the pot and enjoy a few Milky Ways or Starbursts. With all that walking, you have to keep your blood sugar up, right?

We threw on our pumpkin costumes and 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.

Enjoy Jimmy Kimmel’s, “I Told My Kid’s I Ate All of Their Halloween Candy” videos below

YouTube Challenge – I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy 2016

YouTube Challenge – I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy 2015

YouTube Challenge – I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy 2014

YouTube Challenge – I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy 2013

So how exactly does sugar ruin sleep?

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.

To eat or not to eat?candy

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.

Alternate uses for Halloween candy

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

Best and worst candies

Yahoo ranked this year’s best and worst candies. Check out which treats topped the lists and some bite-sized facts.

Worst Halloween candies

  • Mr. Goodbar – In just 3 bites you’ll have eaten the same calories as a Big Mac.
  • Swedish Fish – Made with 2 sugars and carnauba wax which is used to polish cars.
  • Starburst – Contains more sugar than any other candy. Also, packed with greasy kernel oil.

Best Halloween candies

  • Tootsie Pop – This low-calorie candy will burn with just 5 minutes of jumping jacks. It’s also fun to count the licks to get to the center.
  • Kit-Kat – This light wafer treat is low calories and sugar with just 7g, compared to others.
  • Jelly Belly Jelly Beans – The slimmest way to enjoy cotton candy, chocolate and strawberry shortcake. Jelly beans are made with pure fruit purees.

Finally, stop worrying so much and go enjoy Halloween with your little ghosts and Goblins! Happy Halloween from all of us here at Alaska Sleep Clinic.

asleep in school

Topics: kids, holiday, candy

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