Spicy Food = Mad Dreams?

As someone who dreams a great deal and can usually remember most of them, last night was a new chapter in my dream experience.

Late yesterday afternoon, we had a professional contractor come to the house to clean our carpets. He was here for two hours, and did a great job, at a very reasonable price. But the carpet had to dry thoroughly, preferably without us walking in and out of rooms onto it. The man suggested we leave it for one to two hours, so at 6:30 pm, we decided to drive into town and eat at a restaurant.

We chose Spice Fusion, an Indian restaurant, and by the time we were ordering food, we were both unusually hungry. I had something of a craving for garlic, so as well as ordering a fairly spicy- but not too hot- chicken dish, I added a garlic naan bread, and a portion of garlic rice. It was all delicious and filling too, so by the time we got home, we were ready to relax for the evening, and the carpet was bone dry.

A friend once told me that eating spicy food makes you dream more, and those dreams are more vivid. I remember countering his argument with the fact that most Indians, Asians, and Mexicans eat spicy food every single day, and usually much spicier than we are used to in the west. I proposed that the inhabitants of those countries would dream permanently, and perhaps suffer from tiredness as a result.

I went to bed at a reasonable hour, and I was asleep in moments.

Then the dream came. Just the one dream, but a continuous one, with the rare aspect that I went back into the same dream after waking up at 3am. It was vivid, played out in real time, and colourful too. I had a pale blue car in the dream, and a lady involved in the dream had bright red hair.

It involved having to look after someone’s dog. The red haired lady had apparently just divorced and could not take the dog to her temporary accommodation, but would collect it when she moved into her flat the following week. The dog was a curly-haired black dog, of indeterminate breed. None of the dream happened in a familiar location, though in the dream it was well-known to me.

At some point, the dog ran away as I was walking it, and that made me wake up to discover it was still only 3am. I turned over, and had some trouble getting back to sleep. But when I did, I went straight back into the time-line of the dream, trying to find the dog. After telling the very upset lady I had lost her dog, I vowed to find it by placing posters all around the town. As I was doing this, a couple told me they had just seen two men putting a small curly black dog into the front of a pickup truck, and that the vehicle was stopped at the traffic lights in the distance.

I started to run in that direction, only to see the lights change to green, and the pickup pull away into the traffic stream. I carried on giving chase, hoping to catch up with it when the traffic slowed.

Then my wife woke me up, to tell me it was almost 9:30 am.

Perhaps my friend had a point about spicy food.

61 thoughts on “Spicy Food = Mad Dreams?

      1. That’s interesting, Pete. That brings to mind a dream I had when I was at school [I think: it might also have been later] and I was on my school playing field watching a mushroom cloud erupt in the distance. I don’t remember many dreams or even snippets of them so well, for any length of time; I think there’s a good chance this is a common fear which manifests itself in similar ways. Cheers, Jon.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Mexican food has that effect on me. The spicier, or hotter, the worse the dreams are. I also take a few meds to help me sleep and those make it worse. Sometimes, I awake and can remember them, then I write them down for a story. Who was it that said “use your dreams wisely Grasshopper.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you were subconsciously writing your next serial. I eat spicy food a lot and it makes no difference to my dreams. Sometimes they are quite lively and other times not. I don’t trust people who say they don’t dream. (everyone dreams, just some folks don’t remember their dreams when they wake up)

    Liked by 1 person

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