Detox Dreams: Are Crazy, Vivid Dreams Normal When Doing a Cleanse?

7 minute read

The detox dream theory has been around for quite a while and it appears that many people who go on a detox or a cleansing diet find that they have strange dreams. In that sense, it’s totally normal to have weird dreams during detox or possibly during any dietary changes.

But what is it about a detox that causes these strange dreams? There are a number of different theories around and it may be that not just one of them is responsible for your dreams. It could be that a number of things play into your particular dream state.

Reasons Why Detoxes Could Cause Strange Dreams

No single, particular reason can be pointed to as the cause of strange detox dreams, mainly because each detox is different. Some people are detoxing from drugs and alcohol while others are detoxing from sugar or other foods that are harmful to them.

Still, other people are aiming to do a cleanse, which is still altering their very specific and personalized diet.

For this reason, the following solutions to detox dreams are possibilities only. Your particular reason for having these dreams could be one of them or several different solutions coming together to form the perfect crazy dream cocktail.

Low Blood Sugar

If your detox causes your blood sugar to drop at night, vivid dreams are possible. Nighttime hypoglycemia and nightmares have long been connected, and any detox that is high in sugar or gets your insulin revved up during the day then drops it at night can cause hypoglycemia while you’re sleeping.

Chemical Withdrawal

If your cleanse involves cutting out drugs or alcohol, you may have dream symptoms. Addictive drugs and alcohol change the way your brain processes emotions and affect your moods.

Even if you’re not an addict, cutting a nightly glass of wine out of your dinner routine can cause a shift that prompts disturbed sleep.

B Vitamins

While the two possible reasons for detox dreams listed above sound very logical, the inclusion of B vitamins might give you pause.

However, a study looking at vitamin B6 and dreams discovered that taking B6 before bed could improve your ability to remember your dreams in a more vivid manner. B6 is found in many foods and supplements. If part of your detox contains foods or vitamins that have B6, then this could cause your strange dreams.

Vitamins B1 (thiamine) and B12 can also affect your dreams and cause nightmares. Vitamin B1 deficiency has long been linked to nightmares and vivid dreams. B12 plays a role in melatonin production, the hormone that regulates your sleeping patterns. Lacking both of these B vitamins in your detox can also make your nighttime more difficult.

Gluten and Carbohydrates

Many people with celiac disease report experiencing nightmares and highly refined carbohydrates can also cause excessive sleepiness, leading to strange dreams. These foods are usually closely correlated to your insulin levels and similarly have an effect on your sleep.


Sometimes you have a bad or vivid dream just because you think you’re going to. Or, on the other hand, you just randomly have a vivid dream but tie it to the detox you’re doing because you think that it’s a side effect.

The psychology behind connecting a dream to the foods you eat has been around for a very long time and it’s pretty ingrained in a lot of us. This could be the reason you’re having crazy dreams, or it could be the reason you’re remembering them and thinking they’re connected to your detox.

Other Side Effects of a Detox or Cleanse

Again, each detox is different, and each person is different, but if you’re going to try a cleanse, there are some other side effects you should be aware of. Remember, some of these side effects are totally normal, but if you have issues or something feels amiss, you should connect with your healthcare provider.

Bowel changes: It’s not uncommon to note changes in your bowels as your body adjusts.

Headaches: Headaches are one of the most commonly reported side effects of detoxes, but typically only last the first couple of days.

Gas and bloating: Your body is going through some changes and processing food it normally doesn’t eat or not in that quantity. This can easily cause gas.

Skin irritation: Some people report skin rashes or hives, as toxins are released. But this may be a sign of an allergy, so it’s a good time to check in with your doctor.

Fatigue: Your body is working hard and it’s not functioning with its normal nutrition, whatever that may be. This takes some adjusting.

Mood swings: Especially if you’re cutting out favorite foods, you’ll experience mood swings. But some people do report having feelings of euphoria and a sense of calmness.

Cravings: It’s to be expected that the foods you depended on are going to be missed.

Sleep issues: In addition to crazy dreams and fatigue, some people report having insomnia and restlessness while others sleep harder and longer than before.

The Bottom Line

If you’ve decided to do a detox or a cleanse and start having really crazy dreams, don’t despair—you’re not alone. This is a common symptom, and it’s reported by many people on different types of detoxes.

There are some key foods or nutrients that may be causing these dreams. Whether you’re getting too much or are deficient, it all depends on the cleanse. It could also be that you’re expecting to have strange dreams, so you’re a little more aware of them than you’d normally be. Keeping a healthy diet and regimen of nutrients and probiotic supplements can help curb detox symptoms. But no matter what, stick to your path of detoxing, it's the best thing you can do for your health.

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