dream facts

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Bigger Dreamers Have Tinier Waistlines
We see headlines for the “Dream Diet” after finding this gem: The more time you dream each night, the less hungry you are for fats and carbs. Volunteers in a study at St Luke’s Hospital ate prescribed meals for four days under various sleep conditions, fasted for a day, and then ate as much of any food they craved on days six and seven. When they slept for only four hours per night, their metabolism slowed down and they consumed more foods of the pasta-and-chocolate-pudding variety. One culprit is less energy-regulating stage-2 sleep than usual. Another is fewer cycles of REM. Dreaming is calorically demanding—and because REM cycles get longer and longer only after the six-hour mark, you burn off fewer calories (yet paradoxically crave more) when you wake up too soon. If we dream a lot about cake, we may not (as desperately) want to eat it too. (Try a banana instead: a preliminary study finds that vitamin B-6 boosts dream vividness and recall.)