You may remember being warned not to eat just before you swim. But what about not eating just before bed? If you have ever eaten a big meal late in the evening, chances are you have had trouble falling or staying asleep. Why...
- It is more difficult to digest food when lying down. Our digestive tracts work best when we are upright - sitting, standing or even walking. When you lie down after a meal, gravity can disrupt proper digestion; this can lead to acid reflux, or heartburn, which can hinder sleep.
- Digesting food requires the body to expend energy. This can interfere with the relaxed metabolic state required for sleep.
Instead of eating large meals later in the evening, eat them earlier in the day, when the body will best use the energy the food provides. And be sure to limit any late-evening eating to small, healthful snacks.