Labelling myself a chocoholic many years ago, I have had a longstanding love affair with this delicacy. In recent years though I have taken more to dark varieties. With the health benefits touted in the last few years I decided this was a better choice to make, until my experience a couple of weeks ago.
For a number of years now, the suspected health benefits of eating dark chocolate are being talked about more and more. Focusing on health is of course a good thing, and a sweet treat without excess sugar is something I love. Eating chocolate remains a favourite and we now make homemade chocolate which hits the spot nicely, however I don't always have it on hand. Earlier this month a friend mentioned she was enjoying 85% chocolate, and as I'd not made a new batch of ours, I thought I'd give it a try. In our weekly online grocery shop I added a bar of dark chocolate and awaited its arrival. When it arrived I naturally was excited and keen to give it a try, which of course I did. It was delicious and hit the spot. But the next time I ate it I had a completely different experience. After dinner the next night I had another square (yes, just one) and shortly after went off to bed. Within the next three hours I experienced a racing heart, palpitations, a headache and major anxiety. My Weleda Sleep & Relax drops didn't have any affect at all when previously they'd been extremely effective in quieting my mind. Since going through menopause I have had bouts (sometimes for hours, and sometimes for days or weeks of anxiety) so I presumed this was another hormonal surge. Tossing and turning with the most anxious thoughts going through my mind, I began to wonder if it was the chocolate. In searching Google I found that dark chocolate can indeed cause a racing heart and anxiety plus nightmares and terrors. Due to the higher concentration of cocoa, and in turn caffeine, dark chocolate is not the best choice before bed. Back to our own homemade chocolate before bed last night and I had no problems. It's still important that I don't have it too close to bed, and that I have a small amount, but it's way better. How does consuming caffeine affect you? I'd love to know. Tell me in the comments. Until next time,