Feeling frustrated I wrote a FaceBook note about it.
One response I received was as follows:
Tom Florip at 1:52pm December 21
I happen to dabble in oneirology. Have you been eating within1-3 hours of going to bed? That's the most common cause of nightmares. Digestion triggers increased metabolism which triggers increased brain activity. Most studies have shown that 3/4 of all dream content is negative (the brain is attempting to purge "memories"--really just associations--that trigger fear as part of our human evolutionary process to better adapt to our surroundings), so any increase in brain activity will likely yield bad dreams. In other words, the odds are stacked in favor of experiencing nightmares as opposed to happy frolics through Candyland once your metabolism is up at night. Additionally, if you happen to sleep with the television on as I do almost every night, your brain activity will reflect what is being taken in through your ears and there's a good chance you'll end up "dreaming" about whatever happens to be on at 3am. Those damn knife infomercials can make for some scary slasher nightmares.
I thank him, I definitely learned something new that day.
And last night/early this morning I learned something else new.
Shortly before heading to bed I made myself a de-lish bowl of nachos with hot sauce.
From previous knowledge I know that spicy foods help speed ones metabolism.
From even earlier previous knowledge I know that 2+2=4.
So when I couldn't fall asleep for hours after many different techniques [another learned story] and then waking up at 5:27am and 6:50am, I put it all together.
I do believe that my choice to ingest hot sauce was an anti-sleeping death sentence.
My body and mind were quite awake and alert.
This all concludes to some advise I have for my readers.
When you find yourself wanting to loose weight, spice up your foods. (Including hot sauce, peppers, cinnamon.)
But when you think a midnight snack will help you sleep, think again.