General Question

ShiningToast's avatar

Is it really bad to eat before you go to sleep?

Asked by ShiningToast (2108points) September 16th, 2009

I have heard from may people that eating right before bed is not good for you (your stomach cannot digest while you sleep, etc.). I quite often eat right before bed and find (in my mind) that I sleep better when I do so. Is there any medical reason not to eat immediately before going to sleep?

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13 Answers

DarkScribe's avatar

Well, it is less messy than eating after you go to sleep.

It depends – with many people a bedtime snack will help them sleep – many type 2 diabetics do this to improve their fasting BGL during the night. With others it can cause digestive problems and restless sleep. I often snack shortly before bedtime. Usually a high protein snack.

ShiningToast's avatar

Hmm. That makes sense for the diabetics to do so. I find that I sleep well after having a bowl of cereal and some milk, which I have been told is terrible to have before bed, as diary is hard to digest in the first place, and trying to do it in my sleep is not a good idea. I’ll probably keep doing it until I have a good reason not to, or until it gives me problems personally.

jonsblond's avatar

Just don’t eat shining toast. I hear it will give you heart burn. ;)

Sampson's avatar

Your worst problems will be lack of sleep and weird dreams.

You do digest while you sleep. The idea that you will gain more weight from eating before you sleep is a myth. The calorie intake is the same and you do the same things to burn off those calories. The only credibility is that you burn less calories sleeping than awake.

Facade's avatar

If it’s not bothering you, then you’re fine.

holden's avatar

I normally go about three or four hours without food before I hit the sheets but tonight I am having an heirloom tomato. With garlic salt. It’s the bee’s knees.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@ShiningToast I often have a class of milk before going to bed. I didn’t realise it was a no-no.

I agree with @Facade if you haven’t noticed any problems and you find that it helps you sleep then you, more than likely, have nothing to worry about. Now that @Sampson has said that gaining weight by eating before bedtime is a myth I’m happy with it!!!

CMaz's avatar

The body is not meant to digest at that level when it is sleep time.
That is why it is called sleep and not dinner/supper.

Darwin's avatar

If you have gastric reflux, then eating before sleeping is a terrible idea if you like to sleep lying down. However, if you don’t mind sitting up, you can get by with it.

However, certain medications need to be taken with food or they can cause problems. If this happens to be one you should take just before going to bed, then do what ya gotta do.

I would suspect that for most people a light snack before bed is fine. However, hold off on the five course dinners. Heartburn is bad enough by itself, much less coupled with insomnia.

ShiningToast's avatar

@Sampson, Funny story, I ate some cereal and milk right before bed. Lo and behold, I had some vivid dreams. I rather enjoy dreaming, so it’s nice to know that :].

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Think of it as your body marbling, like a veal calf. You eat then become sedentary so you fatten without making tough muscle tone, everything nice and squishy.

Sampson's avatar

@ShiningToast I learned about it from watching The Cosby Show as a kid. Bill had a big hogie before bed and the bulk of the episode was the dream’s craziness.

gottamakeart's avatar

why take in a bunch of calories just before going to bed (unless you have a low blood-glucose isssue) its not like you’re going to go sleep power-walking….

it can play havok with your metabolism.

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