I’m excited to introduce a new line of posts, Mindful Moments, that are meant to provide quick and simple tips to help your tune into your wellness routine. This tip has to do with eating before bed – a question I get quite often. I was going to say late-night eating but considering I’m light’s out by 9:30-10 these days, that doesn’t really apply to me unless we redefine late-night as 8pm. Who’s with me?
Is It Bad to Eat Before Bed?
Clients often ask me about late night eating in regards to calories and weight gain but I’m hoping this tip will get you thinking a bit differently. You see, sleep is our bodies time to rest, detoxify and recuperate. When we eat to close to bedtime, we force digestion to take place while we are sleeping and this forces our body to work overtime. Not a good thing.
So instead, try this shift in your wellness routine. Make lunch your largest meal, as digestion peaks at this time and you need the most energy during the day. Eat lighter at night, staying in tune with your bodies hunger cues. Make sure you eat enough to feel satisfied but don’t overdo it.
Allow at least 2 hours between dinner and bedtime so your meal has a chance to digest and move from your stomach into your small intestines. The benefits:
- more restful sleep
- decrease risk of reflux
- improved detoxification and overall health
If you need a bedtime snack, choose something light and easy to digest like a warm cup of milk or milk alternative with spices like cinnamon and nutmeg or a small, higher protein snack which will stabilize blood sugars. Try a hard boiled egg or a scoop of almond butter.
Remember, this is not about depriving yourself and perfection doesn’t exist. Be mindful of your hunger cues and have a little nosh if you needto. Remember that our body will get into a rhythm if we are consistent. Increase the size of your day time meals and snacks and see if that helps you feel more satisfied at night. Plus, late night snacking isn’t always hunger driven – you could be eating out of habit or emotional nourishment. The best medicine for our emotional health is a good nights sleep – so digest first and then get some good Zzzz’s.
Read More: 6 Tips for Better Sleep