Many people like to eat right before going to bed, but what the impact?
It doesn´t matter if you´re following a time restrictive eating protocol where you skip breakfast and have lunch and dinner or if you have the normal 3 meals per day being breakfast, lunch and dinner, some of us like to eat before going to bed, but this may not be the best option.
Having a big meal will make us feel tired because our body sends all the energy to digest the food we´ve just ate, this is why we find it easier to fall asleep after a huge meal, some people like to have a huge dinner before going to bed because they know they feel tired and find it easier to fall asleep, this is why some people feel like taking a nap also after a huge meal.
Even when it´s easier to fall asleep this does not means it´s a great option. When we go to sleep we want to make sure that our body is able to do all the jobs it needs to do while we´re sleeping, it needs to delete information, store important information in other parts of the brain, it needs to get rid of toxins, it needs to build, repair, recover, grow and make sure that we´re ready for the next day. If we eat a big meal right before going to bed our body will be working on digesting all that food and it won´t be doing what it´s supposed to do.
There´s no reason to have a huge meal before going to bed, we´re not going to be exercising or doing any physical activity so we don´t need that much food.
Some of us like to have a huge meal before bed and we don´t think about what we´re eating, so many of us have problems with digestion, some foods make us feel constipated, bloated, acid reflux, etc; all this cause a lot more problems and makes it harder for our body to digest the food plus it will take it more time which disrupts our sleep.
So many people recommend that we have the last meal 3 hours before going to bed, and this makes sense, in those 3 hours we´re giving our body time to digest all that food so that when we go to bed our body can do what it´s supposed to do. You can make that last meal of your day a big meal and make it higher in carbohydrates, it´s better to eat carbs at night because of hormones like cortisol, insulin and growth hormone, this way you´ll feel satisfied and you´ll still find it easier to fall asleep.
What you eat on that last meal has a huge impact on the quality of your sleep, even when you can have carbohydrates and protein, keeping that meal a little lower on fats may be beneficial and the most important point to consider is to be aware of foods that can cause problems, foods that make you feel bloated, constipated, etc; this creates inflammation and stress on our body and it takes more time to your body to digest. We do need to consider this on all of our meals and avoid foods that cause any problem, even if those foods are consider healthy, but even more on our last meal. You can have a big meal 3 hours before going to bed just make sure your food choices don´t cause any problem.
If you do need to eat before bed because of your busy day and schedule just make sure that it´s not a big meal, and make sure your meal doesn´t create any digestive problem, for this you need to be aware of what foods cause problems and avoid them so that you can have a small or medium meal before bed and you don´t go to bed hungry.
You need to find out what works best for you according to your day, if you can eat 3 hours before going to bed that´s ideal, you can still have a relatively big meal and give your body enough time to digest, if you can´t then it´s better to go for a small meal. In both cases make sure that your meal does not cause any digestive problem so that when you go to bed your body can work on what´s important at that time.
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