Debunking the Popular Sugar High Myth

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Trick-or-treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat! Do you remember how funny this little jingle used to be as a kid? If you have kids, they probably love it as much as you did back in the day. A couple of days ago, we celebrated Halloween—the spookiest and most ghastly holiday of them all. But Halloween is about more than just jack-o-lanterns and scary costumes. It’s about candy. Mounds and mounds of glorious goodness! As adults, we know that candy isn’t the most nutritious of snacks. Regardless, the excitement that kids feel while trick-or-treating is priceless. It’s no surprise that Americans spend $6 billion each year on Halloween. That makes it our second-largest commercial holiday.

After Halloween or a birthday party, you notice that your kid is bouncing off the walls. The common explanation? They’re on a sugar rush! The sugar high is actually a misconception. We’ll spend this blog post debunking the popular theory.

There’s no denying that your kiddo is more excitable than usual after trick-or-treating or devouring a large slice of birthday cake. Is sugar the reason for this? Scientific studies have found that there is no direct connection between hyperactivity and sugar consumption. Instead of blaming the sugar, consider other possible explanations. Holidays and birthday parties are inherently exciting events for children. There’s a build-up for each. For Halloween, they see the decorations you’ve put up, they’ve chatted with their buddies about what their costumes will be, and they’ve carved pumpkins with you. When the big day finally arrives, little Jamie is ready to burst! This is where confirmation bias comes in. As a parent, you’re on high alert when your kids eat sweets, but you don’t pay as much attention to the times they’re hyper without them. In medicine, we know that the placebo effect can be quite powerful.

The verdict? The sugar rush is simply a parenting urban legend. For additional experiments that have been conducted on this topic, this article from New York Magazine is a great source. Does this mean that your kid’s diet should consist entirely of Butterfingers, Ring Pops, and Hershey bars? Better yet, why not do the same as an adult? If sleeping and a healthy lifestyle are important for you, you may want to reconsider your dreams of living in Candy Land. For one, eating sugary treats late at night may make it difficult to sleep. Not getting enough sleep regularly has serious repercussions. A diet consisting of chocolate and candy can lead to obesity and other health complications. A couple of bags of Skittles before bed can have negative consequences. Your metabolism slows down when you sleep, making it tough to break down the food you’ve just consumed. Our medically-supervised weight loss program focuses on these issues and more.

We hope that this blog post was eye-opening, or perhaps even mind-blowing. While your kid’s sugar rush isn’t a real thing, we support a healthy lifestyle at the Pasha Snoring & Sinus Center. That doesn’t mean that you can’t and shouldn’t enjoy sweets. Moderation is key for you and your children. We hope you had a happy Halloween!

Struggling with sleep apnea, snoring, or another sleep condition? Or, sinus and allergy issues? We’ve got plenty of options for you. Take back your sleep (after you’ve thrown away the candy wrappers scattered around your bed) by scheduling an appointment with Dr. Pasha and his team. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest for more updates!