HealthSleep

What Happens To Your Digestive System When You Lie Down After Eating

There may be a correlation between the timing of your meal and your inability to sleep if you’ve ever tried going to bed immediately after supper and found that you couldn’t get to sleep.

A common question is how long one should wait after eating before bedtime. Should you avoid going to bed immediately following a meal? Read on to get some helpful information on going to sleep after a meal. Discover why it’s not a good idea to hit the hay right after dinner, and discover which meals promote restful sleep and which do the opposite.

How Long You Should Wait Before Going to Bed?

Eating a substantial dinner too close to night can disrupt your sleep. Dietitians recommend waiting at least three hours after eating before going to bed. This provides the necessary time for digestion and the stomach’s contents to migrate into the small intestine.

Consuming anything before bedtime might signal to your brain that it’s time to get up and be active. The hormone insulin, which aids in converting food into energy, is secreted in response to eating. As a result, your natural sleep-wake routine may change (circadian rhythm). Separate dinner and bedtime by at least three hours. If, for instance, you often eat dinner at about 6 p.m., get some shut eye after 9 p.m.

Acid Reflux at Night

When you lie down soon after eating, stomach contents might reflux (or come back up) into your throat (esophagus). Night-time heartburn, a burning sensation in the chest, and other symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), such as a bitter aftertaste, might result from this (or “burping up” food).

The chronic illness known as gastroesophageal reflux disease occurs when the sphincter muscle at the base of the esophagus becomes weak. With this opening, stomach acid may more easily enter the esophagus. If your stomach hasn’t wholly emptied before sleep, you may experience this discomfort at night.

What About A Snack Before Bed?

In most cases, eating a little snack before bed is not only acceptable but may even be beneficial.

Nutrients published research in 2015 that found eating a light snack (150 calories or fewer) before bed might improve the body’s ability to repair and rebuild muscle tissue and maintain metabolic health during sleep.

A warm glass of milk or caffeine-free tea will also do the trick. When included in a nightly routine, they can help you wind down and get ready for sleep. 

Sleep-Impairing Snacks

Avoid spicy and acidic meals like citrus and tomatoes for an evening snack if you want to avoid heartburn. Heartburn and reflux can be made worse by consuming chocolate or peppermint.

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