It only matters how much you eat compared to the amount of energy you use. Other foods can be comforting, like a warm glass of milk, and this may help us to relax and mentally prepare for sleep as part of a regular bedtime routine. 2019;2:000011. doi:10.1136/bmjnph-2018-000011, López-Cruz L, Salamone JD, Correa M. Caffeine and selective adenosine receptor antagonists as new therapeutic tools for the motivational symptoms of depression. People often choose foods high in fat like ice cream or potato chips because they are easy and require no preparation. Are there other activities to avoid after eating? We have all heard someone say that eating right before bed leads to weight gain. The problem with this comes from people’s tendency to eat before bed after they already ate a full dinner. Front Pharmacol. Sleeping just after eating increases the acid level in the stomach. Thank you, {{form.email}}, for signing up. When we experience fatigue after eating a meal, it can feel like we need to crawl into bed and dive into a deep sleep for a few hours. ). If eaten in moderation, different foods like whole grains with a little milk, nuts, peanut butter, yogurt, and fruit, especially ones high in antioxidants like blueberries can all make an easy alternative. How Long A Person Should Wait Between Dinner And Bedtime? 3. Though different food items may take different amounts of time to get digested, it is good to wait for at least 2 to 4 hours to nap after you have had your meals. Sleeping after eating has an overall bad effect on the body. If you have adjusted your meals and permitted 2-3 hours for the food to get digested and still suffering from sleeping disorder or heartburn, contact a specialist for a remedy. This may be especially true if you eat too much or eat certain foods that induce heartburn. Lying down may cause reflux symptoms that cause burning chest discomfort and a bitter taste in your mouth. Some of these may shock you but, yes, there are other activities you should avoid. Sleeping. After a heavy meal, it’s natural to feel a bit sleepy. If you sleep after eating, you … Some people describe this as "burping up food." This effect of having sleepiness after eating with naps due to large meals is much stronger after eating junk food and especially overeating (see the second half of this page for more info about this effect). 1. It may also exacerbate sleep apnea by relaxing the muscles of the airway. It is a myth! Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Four hours. As long as you use a proportionate amount of energy compared to the amount eaten, going to bed will not lead you to add some pounds. Association between dinner-to-bed time and gastro-esophageal reflux disease. There are conflicting opinions on the actual timescale of when to stop eating before bed. Medical professionals recommend waiting at least two hours before you consider lying down after you eat. 2018;9:526. doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.00526, Kinsey AW, Ormsbee MJ. Not enough sleep can induce lower release levels of the hormone leptin which can make you feel hungry. Maybe you're the kind of person who likes to lift weights while watching Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, go running in the park at 10 p.m. or practice Pilates after you've digested your dinner. What is the best way to ensure you get the best possible rest for yourself and overall wellbeing? Is it bad to go to bed too soon after eating? Tossing and turning night over night can have a big impact on your quality of life. How Long To Wait Between Bedtime and Meal Your body is most comfortable digesting food in an upright position, as it allows for easy digestion. A good 8 hours of sleep will help you feel energized and ready to have a good breakfast and get on with the day. 5. This duration is sufficient for the foods in your stomach go into the small intestine and digest properly. Food can signal wakefulness in the brain and interfere with your ability to fall asleep. When you eat those calories doesn't matter as much as their quality, their amount and your activity level all day long. 14 Natural Ways to Get a Better Night's Sleep, What Is Jet Lag? A 2015 study in the journal Nutrients concluded that a small snack (150 calories or less) might even be beneficial for muscle protein synthesis and cardiometabolic health.. Before you blame it on the type of food or lack of sleep you may be suffering from, it’s important to understand how the body can react to eating… In a health column in "The Globe and Mail" newspaper, dietitian Leslie Beck recommends eating your last large meal of the day no later than two to three hours before you go to bed. 2015;7(4):2648-62. doi:10.3390/nu7042648, How Long to Wait Before Sleeping After Eating, Ⓒ 2020 About, Inc. (Dotdash) — All rights reserved. Remaining in an upright position is the best way to achieve this. Let us help you find out! Wait! It is easy to come to the conclusion that if you eat and then go to bed, you do not have any chance to burn off the calories. In fact, you have probably heard it repeatedly that you think it is a fact. That's mainly because your body absorbs food properly only when you're in an upright position. Trouble Sleeping. And why? By slowly digesting proteins, I mean eggs, salmon, beef, and whatever, and with the fats, it can either be a little olive oil or a few nuts (cashews, almonds, etc. But before talking about the disadvantages, it is pertinent to know the time gap between eating and sleeping and the complex relationship between food and sleep. I am sure you have heard before that sleeping after eating is bad, but why is that? Does this mean you have to deprive yourself of a late-night snack? Dietitian recommends treats that absorb rapidly, such as a piece of fruit. Sleep doesn’t make you add pounds, food does. Quality Sleep is Important in COVID-19 Situation. It can induce other side effects that may be bad for your health, so it is not routinely recommended. It is bad for health to lie down just after a meal. Recommendations for the Last Meal Before Sleep. Eating before bed can affect your health negatively. A 2019 study from Japan could find no association between the two-hour delay and HbA1c levels.. In addition, some foods like cherries contain small amounts of melatonin. Fat: Which One Am I?. These will not affect your sleep or weight in a negative manner. It is recommended that you should let your body digest the food that you ate before you hit the snooze button. But whether you have occasional or chronic acid reflux or indigestion, “eating a large meal before going to bed could worsen the existing symptoms,” Dr. Gabbard says. Also, spicy foods that cause heartburn or indigestion can keep you from getting a good night’s rest.. RELATED: Bloated vs. Many recommend waiting as long as four hours to facilitate the best possible conditions for digestion. Stir Fry. Weight control is all about calorie balance -- if you eat too much and move too little, you end up with a surplus of calories that leads to weight gain. Brandon Peters, MD, is a board-certified neurologist and sleep medicine specialist. It’s simply extra calories that exceed a typical daily intake, which can lead to additional pounds. 2005;100(12):2633-6. doi:10.1111/j.1572-0241.2005.00354.x, Maw SS, Haga C. Effect of a 2-hour interval between dinner and bedtime on glycated haemoglobin levels in middle-aged and elderly Japanese people: a longitudinal analysis of 3-year health check-up data. Fujiwara Y, Machida A, Watanabe Y, et al. This is a simple and nutritious choice. BMJ Nutr Prev Health. To ensure your body effectively digests the food, you should not go to bed within three hours after having a large meal. Instead, help yourself and eat foods that are healthy, easily digestible and low in calories. Others say it will cause you to add unnecessary pounds since your body doesn’t have time to burn off the calories consumed before bed. Whether it’s a midnight snack or simply your late dinner after a busy day, learn how much time should elapse before bedtime after eating and what symptoms you might experience, including insomnia and nighttime heartburn, if you don’t wait long enough before going to sleep. Explore Possible Causes and Risk Factors of Insomnia. It should be taken 2 hours to 30 minutes before going to bed. With all the information available, it’s hard to sort through it and find out what is actually true, and what is a myth. The kind of food you consumed for dinner and the time these foods are consumed actually matter a lot. So, what is the truth? How long you should wait before going to bed after dinner depends on what you had for dinner; the heavier the food, the longer you have to wait before going to bed. Our free guide can help you get the rest you need. Grilled Meat and Vegetables. Emily Melynn Alexander was born on the east coast of the USA but has called Colorado home since 2000. This is more likely to occur if the stomach has not fully emptied by bedtime.. Eating too close to bedtime may actually harm your sleep. In conclusion, do not beat yourself up for snacking late or even for having dinner late. And for every … It is possible for your body to burn the appropriate amount of energy before you chew on the calories! Discover How Travel Affects Circadian Rhythms. Dietitian recommends eating your last big meal of the day no behind two to three hours prior to you go to sleep. Your sleep quality will also be affected when your stomach keeps rumbling throughout the night. This is where the common health misconception comes into play. In addition, caffeine in coffee, tea, soda pop, energy drinks, and chocolate should be avoided. You eat the right things. The truth is it does not have to been done in that particular order. Am J Gastroenterol. 4. A new study suggests that waiting at least an hour after dinner before going to sleep reduces your risk of stroke by about two-thirds. Generally speaking, there is no exact timeframe of how long to wait after eating to sleep. Blood is redirected from all of your organs, including the brain, to aid in the digestive system. According to a famous dietitian, you must eat your last big meal of the day at least 2 to 3 hours before going to bed. What does it do to your body, your metabolism and overall quality of sleep? Not everyone is sensitive to caffeine, but if you are, consider restricting caffeine consumption to earlier in the day. This is to aid your body with digestion and have a more restful and rewarding slumber. It is necessary to leave 2-3 hours of gap after eating before you go to bed. Sleeping after eating will cause you to gain weight: myth or fact? Skip the Nightcap: How Long You Should Wait to Go to Bed After Alcohol, Insomnia: Understanding Symptoms, Causes & Treatments, Association between dinner-to-bed time and gastro-esophageal reflux disease, Effect of a 2-hour interval between dinner and bedtime on glycated haemoglobin levels in middle-aged and elderly Japanese people: a longitudinal analysis of 3-year health check-up data, Caffeine and selective adenosine receptor antagonists as new therapeutic tools for the motivational symptoms of depression, The health impact of nighttime eating: old and new perspectives. She enjoys sleeping in locations all around the world. This can increase your calorie intake exponentially if you are not careful. However, it is best to resist the urge to sleep and remain in an upright position for a minimum of two hours. It doesn’t matter what time you eat, day or night. This also helps in improving your digestion. As a general rule of thumb, nutritionists will tell you to wait about three hours between your last meal and bedtime. This allows digestion to occur and the contents of your stomach to move into your small intestine. Drink water or chew some sugar-free gum after eating … Some say it will give you nightmares or disrupt your slumber in general. But when it comes to working out and sleeping, it can be hard to know if sleeping right after a workout provides benefits or hurts your health. So if anyone is going through sleepless hours at night, the reason may be nothing but the sleeping pattern just after the meal. For example, turkey and pork chops contain high levels of tryptophan, a substance that is metabolized by our bodies into serotonin and melatonin, sleep-inducing agents. Lack of sleep may also increase the release of the hormone grehlin which can also make you feel hungry. Remaining in an upright position is the best way to achieve this. If you’re up late and it’s been 4 to five hours since your last big meal, eat a small snack resulting in bedtime. How does eating before going to bed affect your health? You work out regularly. Anita Chandrasekaran, MD, MPH, is board-certified in internal medicine and rheumatology and currently works as a rheumatologist at Hartford Healthcare Medical Group in Connecticut. Surprisingly, a few studies recently have shown that people who do not get enough rest in general, suffer from sleep apnea, or insomnia may be more prone to increase in pounds. How long do you really need to wait after eating before dozing off? This isn’t good if you want to avoid having to buy a mattress for heavy people! Snoozing does not make you add pounds, excessive food does. Sign up for our newsletter and get it free. Generally speaking, a light snack before bedtime is not problematic. This is mainly because fruit digests … If you eat too late and have trouble falling or staying asleep, symptoms that characterize insomnia, you might wonder: How long should I wait between eating and going to bed to sleep? It increases digestive problem causes hindrance in the metabolism and causes long-term effects. Our digestive system works best while we remain in an upright position so lying down can bring about undue strain and uneven absorption of nutrition and food. Fortunately, simple interventions often probe to be successful. This may prevent problems like heartburn at night and even insomnia. That’s why the … When you eat after long hours of having an empty stomach, your body is more likely to turn the food into fat. What is the recommended amount of time to wait after a meal before lying down? Caffeine blocks adenosine, a chemical that makes you feel sleepy, and when consumed too close to bedtime may contribute to insomnia.. Excessive caloric intake leads to weight gain, regardless of what time you eat. She has a degree in English and Political Science from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Many recommend waiting as long as four hours to facilitate the best possible conditions for digestion. Spicy and acidic foods like citrus and tomatoes may be especially bothersome. It can also increase the need to urinate at night, a condition referred to as nocturia. Read our, Medically reviewed by Jay N. Yepuri, MD, MS, Medically reviewed by Robert Burakoff, MD, MPH, Medically reviewed by Robert D. Sadaty, MD, Not Sleeping? Eating during the day or night doesn’t matter. However, it is best to wait at least two hours before lying down at night. Yes, eating fruit is healthy, but not after your meal. This suggests proper sleep promotes a healthy lifestyle which in turn facilitates weight loss when paired with healthy and proportionate dietary choices. 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