Is it Right to Sleep Immediately After Eating?


Most people love to enjoy their afternoon siesta after lunch, or they love to have late night snacking before going to bed. You might often wonder whether it is good to sleep after eating. There is no doubt in the fact that we very often feel drowsy after eating our meal but does it mean that we should have some sleep or should we wait for some time before going to bed? Well, it might not be a good idea to sleep after eating the meal. Sleeping immediately after eating might not be a healthy habit for the body.

How can sleeping just after eating affect health?

Your body is required to digest foods you consume to gain energy, and it could do so when you sit properly in an upright position. But, when you sleep just after eating, you aren’t allowing the body to perform this important function, thus leading to some of the bad effects as following:

1. May lead to weight gain

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Immediately sleeping after eating could cause weight gain. It is because the body needs to burn calories that you get from a meal, but if you sleep; your body will store the calories. An excessive quantity of calories in your body leads to unnecessary weight gain. In short, sleeping just after eating can make you fat.

2. Causes acid reflux


Acid reflux is a common condition when the content of the stomach is pushed back into the esophagus. Acid reflux causes an intense burning sensation in the chest cavity. It happens when you sleep just after eating foods.

Also Read: Sleeping Next to Your Phone is Not Good

3. May cause digestive issues


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If you sleep immediately after eating dinner or lunch, your food doesn’t get digested properly. The undigested foods can cause digestive problems like heartburn, gas, acidity, bloating, flatulence, and so on.

4. Can lead to stroke


Sleeping immediately after having meals could increase the chances of suffering from a stroke. It is because the undigested food might cause an imbalance in the blood sugar level and blood pressure, and in some extreme cases, it may also lead to stroke.

When should you go to sleep after having food?

It is highly recommended that you allow your body digests the foods that you consumed before you hit the bed. Though different foods might take different span of time to get digested, it’s good to wait for minimum 2 to 4 hours to sleep after you had your meals.

Healthy bedtime snacks

Though it is a bad idea to eat anything just before your bedtime, sudden hunger pangs may strike, and we might wish to eat something. We advise that you should eat healthy and nutritious foods, instead of gauging on useless calories. Below are some healthy snacks that you could use to curb the late night snacking need:

  • A glass of milk with honey is the best option, and you will also sleep properly.
  • One cup of low-fat yogurt is good for your tummy.
  • A whole-wheat cracker with peanut butter is better for your growling stomach.
  • One cup of whole grain cereals with low-fat milk.

If hunger strikes at odd hours, these are a few snacks that you can have without thinking twice. Avoid fatty and fried or calorie-rich foods as these can be hard on the digestive system and also might cause trouble with sleeping.

Also Read: 10 Surprising Things That Can Affect Your Sleep

Does eating too late affect your sleep?

Sleep and food have a very complex relationship. Some foods could induce intense sleep. There are foods like energy drinks, chocolate, and soda that can keep you awake if consumed before sleeping. So, you need to be cautious about what you eat before bedtime as it can impact your sleep. If you eat your meal just before sleeping, there is a chance that you might suffer from heartburn or acidity, which will impact your sleep.

Some people may not get affected by what they eat close to bedtime, but that doesn’t mean that they should consume whatever they wish because their sleep is not getting disrupted. The question is not about sleep, but it is about the foods which are not digested. So, sleeping just every meal is not at all good for your health.

It is also important that you have a gap between the meal time and sleeping time. Eating a healthy meal before bedtime, saying no to unhealthy foods and going for right late night snacks are good things that you can choose for good sleep. However, if you have heartburn, acid reflux and any sleep-related issues, it is suggested to see your doctor to rule out any other medical conditions.

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