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How Long Should You Wait Before Going To Bed After Dinner?

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Eating a late dinner may keep you awake and cause problems with your sleep. Many times, eating at the wrong hour can also result in digestive problems and related signs like heartburn, indigestion, etc. It can also lead to sudden weight gain. 

While you may know going to bed immediately after eating is bad, do you know how long you should wait before you hit the sack. Let’s find out.

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. Lying down immediately after eating a light meal for dinner can cause the stomach contents to reflux into the oesophagus, triggering symptoms of GERD and heartburn. This is more likely to happen if your stomach has not emptied by the time you go to bed. 

Usually, it is advised that you wait for about 2-3 hours before going to bed once you have had your dinner. This provides ample time for digestion and the contents in your stomach to move into the small intestine – and reduce the likelihood of various digestive problem symptoms. 

Besides, allowing a couple of hours to elapse before lying down after your least meal can lower your chances of having sleep disorders and gaining weight. 

The Complex Relationship between Sleep and Food

Certain food items such as turkey, fatty fish, almonds, etc. can enhance your sleep quality. These contain high levels of tryptophan – a substance that your body metabolizes into melatonin and serotonin. Both of these facilitate sleep.

Many people develop a habit of binging on unhealthy snacks late in the night – chips, doughnuts, cookies, and aerated beverages. Midnight snacking is a sure-fire way to increase calorie intake and gain weight. You must not indulge in unhealthy snacking before going to sleep, as it will harm you in ways more than one.

Foods to Avoid Before Going to Bed

Certain foods, when consumed right before bedtime, can block adenosine – a chemical that helps us fall asleep naturally. Also, make sure you avoid consuming foods that contribute to insomnia. These include –

  • Alcohol
  • Soda
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolates



Foods You Should Eat Before Going to Bed

In case you find yourself hungry a few hours after having your meal, it is recommended that you have a light meal for dinner to satiate your hunger pangs. You can have foods that are easily digestible and low in calories. Examples include –

  • Eggs
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Bananas


A tip – Playing relaxing music in slow volume before you sleep can help you fall asleep faster.

The Bottom Line

To live a healthy life, you may need to make some changes to your daily routine for good health. Eat two hours before your bedtime and keep it light in order to avoid health issues. After all, a good night’s sleep is all-essential for a healthy body. 

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