Why Shouldn’t You Sleep Soon After Having A Meal?
Soon after having a meal, the body feels sluggish and immediately wants to go horizontal. It’s not at all a good idea.
“Oh, I’m so tired that I’ll have my dinner and jump straight into bed”. How often have you heard someone say that? And how often have you done the same? Casual midnight snacking or a few tidbits before hitting the bed is one thing but going to bed immediately after a full stomach – be it after lunch or dinner, is actually not a good idea, especially for the later. If it translates into a habit, it is bound to wreak havoc in your system.
Straight up, your body has to make an extra effort to digest your food just because you are in a sleeping position. When you are done eating, the food might make its way to the stomach, but there is a bit left for it to travel. So when you are supine or prone, it becomes difficult for the food to pass through the intestinal walls.
Difficulty in digestion can even cause a burning sensation as there can be acid reflux, which can manifest as GERD. It worsens if one is lying down flat on their stomach immediately after a meal.
Taking a cue from the above factor, now you understand that your body is not at its proper equilibrium. That itself hampers the quality of the sleep. It may be further compounded if you have something heavy or sugary to finish your course. Heavy food will require your digestive juices to be more active while the sugar intake will release instant energy into your system, which will interfere with adenosine buildup that is necessary to provide you with sound sleep.
Digestion needs to be properly activated not only to absorb the nutrients into your body fully but also to process the complete food mass. Half digested food simply occupies the intestines and can only add to the waistline. Additionally, the metabolism parameters increasingly go haywire, making it difficult to burn the food, which you may have subsequently throughout the day, into calories. Calories, when they are not properly utilised get stored as fat. Continued fat storage can result in obesity.
Improper digestion can also have adverse effects on blood cholesterol and blood pressure.
How Long To Wait After A Meal Before Going To Bed?
Ideally, one should give a gap of about 3 hours between finishing one’s dinner and going for a nap. If that is not possible, a delay of at least 2 hrs is advised. So a proper mealtime planning is imperative. And if one can put in an after-meal walk, it’s much better.