Ever try to go to bed when you’re overly stuffed? Anyone who has knows how much your dinner can impact sleep quality. But it’s now just what you eat that makes a difference, it’s also when you eat it. So what is the ideal time to have your evening meal so it doesn’t interfere with a good night’s rest? A pair of sleep experts weigh in with their recommendations.
According to Dr. Peter Polos, sleep medicine specialist and sleep expert for Sleep Number, you’ll want to finish up dinner at least three hours before you hit the sack.
- He explains that this gives you enough time for digestion so it doesn’t disrupt your sleep.
- And that’s especially important if you’re eating a meal high in protein or fatty foods, which take longer to digest.
- But on the flip side, eating too early in the evening won’t help you sleep better because going to bed hungry can lead to blood sugar dips that wake you up in the middle of the night. So the sweet spot for most people is three hours before bed.
According to neuroscientist and sleep expert Sofia Axelrod, it’s just as important to eat dinner at around the same time every night, whatever time that is. She explains that meals are one of the many daily activities that help regulate our circadian rhythms, which dictate our sleep-wake cycles.
- So what about dessert? Unfortunately, Polos encourages us to wrap up all eating, including sweet treats, within that three-hour window. If you do need something small to tide you over until morning, these experts advise low-sugar, high-fiber options like fruit, nuts and nut butters.
Source: Mind Body Green