We keep hearing that you should stop eating a few hours before you head to bed, but we find ourselves snacking while binge-watch TV shows late at night. Is it okay to munch on something healthy before going to bed? Here’s how long you should stop eating before bedtime.
The Effects of Eating Before Bedtime
Because the digestive system slows down at night when you go to bed with a full stomach you’re likely to have indigestion which can make it difficult to fall asleep. Eating before bed can also spike blood sugar levels giving you energy late at night. In addition, eating at night can interfere with the production of the growth hormone and melatonin making it harder to get a good night’s sleep.
When Should You Stop Eating?
Although when to stop eating varies for everyone because it has to do with metabolism, in general, try to stop eating between 2-3 hours before bed.
There are some foods that facilitate a good night’s sleep. These include easy to digest vegetables, high-quality fats, and high-quality protein. Complex carbs like whole grains and sweet potatoes have serotonin which promotes sleep. In regards to foods to avoid, stay away from foods high in sugar and refined carbs, spicy or acidic foods, chocolate, alcohol, and coffee.