While eating in bed is generally not recommended for the sake of cleanliness, it is also not recommended for your health. Large meals right before bed, or in bed, can cause acid reflux, which disturbs sleep. However, developing a healthy eating schedule can help you keep your body and sleep rhythms in balance.
Circadian Rhythms and Your Bedtime
Circadian rhythms play a vital role in your sleep cycle. These rhythms affect everything from your sleep-wake cycle to your eating habits and digestion. Your body is programmed to stop eating when the sun goes down in preparation for sleep. Late night heavy meals work against this natural order and can lead to unwanted weight gain.
We each have our tendencies when it comes to sleep. Some people are naturally night owls who stay up and sleep late. Others get tired early in the evening and wake at the first sign of daylight.
Studies have found that those who stay up late and sleep in are at a higher risk for weight gain. Night owls are more likely to consume fast food and have a higher body mass index. Those late night calories are less likely to get burned off right away. That puts night owls at risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. If you are a night owl, you may want to focus on eating more smaller meals throughout the day to avoid late night munchies.
Shift Those Rhythms
Going to bed late and late night eating are both behaviors that can be changed. It might take some time and effort, but you might find it easier to stick to a healthy eating plan when your sleep cycle supports your efforts rather than works against them.
Good Food Habits to Try
A few tips that will help you fall asleep sooner and stop those late night munchies include:
Shift Your Sleep Cycle
Shifting your sleep cycle isn’t as easy as adjusting what you eat, but it can be done. Make sure you have a cozy mattress that doesn’t contribute to aches and pains during the night. Keep your bedroom at a cool 60-68 degrees and try these tips:
Selina Hall is an expert on sleep health and wellness for BestMattressReviews.com. She believes that sleep is one of the most important pillars of health. Selina lives in Portland, Oregon. She sleeps best under a handmade quilt passed down from her great-grandmother.
Kelowna Nutritionist STOP dieting, start living! Lose the Bloat, Melt your Belly, Love Your Life!! Last thing, last time, believe it! Sign up to receive my bi-weekly FIT Nutrition blog, and get started today.