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Can Eating Late At Night Cause Insomnia

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Disrupting Your Sleep Cycle Can Be Part Of What Causes High Triglycerides

Avoid These Foods at Night If You Want to Sleep Quickly and Without Worry

Studies in shift workers provide substantial evidence for the link between disrupted sleep cycles and elevated triglyceride levels, even after adjusting for other factors such as dietary intake. Shift workers also have higher LDL cholesterol levels, another risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Laboratory studies suggest that circadian rhythms and feeding time both influence levels of triglycerides, and that disruption in certain circadian genes such as CLOCK can cause abnormal triglyceride levels in mice.

Shift Work Is Associated With Increased Cardiovascular Risk

There are a multitude of studies showing that shift work is associated with cardiovascular disease. Lack of sleep or sleeping odd hours are also considered an independent risk factor for gaining weight, and shift workers are more likely to have obesity than day workers. But what is the cause of this link between sleep disruption and cardiovascular risk?

Initially, it was thought that shift workers may have higher cardiovascular risk because of poor eating habits, socioeconomic factors, or the stress of a difficult schedule. However, recent research correcting for these factors has found that the link may actually be due to disruptions in sleep cycles, causing an alteration in the bodys biological clock.

We Tend To Make Unhealthy Choices Late At Night

Turning away that side of french fries at lunch might not be so hard, but come midnight, these warm, salty pieces of heaven are hard to resist, especially after a night out drinking. “We tend to go for late-night treats such as ice cream, pastries,and salty chips, all of which are calorie dense and can promote weight gain in the long run,” says Dr. Nandi. He also explains to us that late-night eating can affect the ghrelin hormone, which increases appetite and plays a role in body weight. “This hormone uses the naturally occurring break to reset itself, but if you eat too late at night you are not giving your body enough time to do this. This can actually make you hungrier in the day following your late night indulging and can also affect your memory and lead to difficulty concentrating.”

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Eating Before Bed And Digestion

While our bodies are indeed perfectly capable of doing two things at oncesleeping and digesting, in this casehitting the sack right after feasting is not ideal for many people because of the way the gastrointestinal tract is set up.

Between the stomach and the esophagus is a muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter, according to the National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases . Sometimes this valve remains open, allowing the contents of the stomach and digestive juices to flow back up into the esophagus and cause irritation, Scott Gabbard, M.D., a gastroenterologist at Cleveland Clinic, tells SELF. That unpleasant burning sensation in your throat and/or chest is known as gastroesophageal reflux .

Heartburn can be triggered by a few things, including eating and then lying down, according to the Mayo Clinic. In other words exactly the scenario when you eat before bed. When you lie horizontally with a full stomach lose the effect of gravity that helps to keep the contents of the stomach down, Dr. Gabbard explains, which causes this backflow. Everyone can get heartburn once in a while, but if you have it more than twice a week you might have whats called gastroesophageal reflux disease , according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

How Does Sleep Affect Diet

The Effects of Eating Late at Night

Sleep deprivation alters the brain’s reward system , making people more likely to indulge in foods that are high in sugar and fat .

People who don’t receive sufficient amounts of sleep are also more likely to consume more calories overall , eat the bulk of their food later in the day, and favor snacks over proper meals. Conversely, extending sleep and maintaining a regular sleep schedule are associated with healthier diet choices.

Over time, the link between poor sleep and unhealthy food choices can have negative consequences for health. Long-term sleep deprivation affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar and is considered a risk factor for obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

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Eating Too Much Right Before Bed

It can take anywhere from four to five hours to empty your stomach of contents. During that time, your body is excreting acid to break down those edibles.

It also takes longer to digest foods when lying down. In fact, it can take more than 100% longer to digest food if you immediately go to bed after eating.

The entire process can lead to anything from indigestion throughout the night to feeling nauseous in the morning. This is why a lot of experts tell you to give the body time to digest food before lying down to sleep.

Avoid Sneaky Caffeine Sources

You probably know drinking a pot of coffee before bed is a bad idea if you want to actually sleep. But caffeine lies waiting in other foods you may not suspect. A cup of hot cocoa before bed sounds soothing, but cocoa is made from chocolate, and chocolate has caffeine. Caffeine hides in many beverages you may not guess, like some brands of root beer. So check the label to make sure you aren’t accidentally stimulating your brain when you’d rather be calming it.

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Acid Reflux Indigestion And Heartburn

Another risk of eating large meals right before bed is acid reflux, indigestion, and heartburn. Giving the body time to digest before bed can reduce the risk of developing these problems.

After eating and climbing into bed, the body rests at a horizontal angle, resulting in stomach acid easily entering the esophagus and causing acid reflux.

Indigestion is when you suffer stomach pains and discomfort after eating a large meal.

Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest caused by overeating and consuming spicy foods. Heartburn can worsen when lying down.

Eating Late At Night Upsets Your Digestive System

How to Eat & Drink to Sleep Better | Insomnia

Sleep not only allows your mind to rest, its also an important restorative process for your whole body. During the day, your digestive system in particular is bombarded so its only natural that at night, it gets an opportunity to rest!

However, if you go and eat a big meal before bed, it rouses your digestive system which will be sluggish and not all that efficient. This can mean you experience a few uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating, constipation and acid reflux. Acid reflux in particular is a big problem if youre fond of dairy or spicy foods when you lie down on a full stomach, it makes it easier for your digestive juices to flow back up the oesophagus.1

What you can learn: A glass of warm milk might have been your Grandmothers favourite cure for insomnia but if you have a sensitive tummy its not going to do much good. In general, if you are troubled by digestive issues, Id avoid dairy products, processed carbs and spicy foods after 7pm. If you do find yourself suffering during the night, adjust your sleeping position by propping yourself up on a few pillows and keep our Digestisan remedy close this tincture is excellent for combatting the symptoms of indigestion and can help to ease acid reflux!

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Simple Sugar And Sweeteners

Foods containing simple sugar can cause a big spike in blood glucose levels. This makes excess energy available for the body which can cause restlessness.

Because the brain consumes a lot of glucose, a high blood glucose level can keep the brain ticking long after it should have powered down.

Sugary foods to avoid range from soda drinks to refined carbohydrates. Any food with added high fructose corn syrup, or other commercial simple sugars, can increase the bodys energy level and fuel increased brain activity.

To avoid the health problems associated with sugars, manufacturers sometimes substitute them with artificial sweeteners.

However, artificial sweeteners are not safer. In fact, they can also disturb sleep.

Other food additives that may disrupt sleep include preservatives, artificial colors, artificial flavors, texture enhancers, and synthetic antioxidants.

A common food additive that is known to cause insomnia is MSG . This compound is a common ingredient used in preparing Chinese foods as well as refined, packaged foods. However, it is a potent stimulant and can keep some people awake late into the night.

Fatty foods take longer for the body to digest. And when the body is actively digesting food, it cannot power down.

High-protein foods also affect the digestive process and sleep in a similar way.

Excitatory neurotransmitters keep the brain active and thyroid hormones increase the bodys metabolic rate. Both effects disrupt sleep.

Does Food Affect Your Sleep

The foods you choose to eat, how much you eat, and when, all can affect your sleep. Would you change your diet if you knew it would help you get a full night of uninterrupted sleep? Here is your chance to do just that. Read on to learn how your food choices may be influencing how rested you feel each morning.

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What Should I Eat For A Good Night’s Sleep

One third of us suffer from insomnia at some stage in our lives, and most of us have mild trouble sleeping from time to time. Whether you’re struggling to fall asleep, stay asleep, or both, many factors play a role. These include stress, distracting environments and the food you eat.

Have you ever wondered why some foods and drinks make you sleepy while others give you an energy boost? Does cheese give you nightmares? Can warm milk help you sleep? We separate the facts from the fiction and show how tweaking your diet can help you slow down in the evening and sleep soundly throughout the night.

Why Is It Good To Eat Nuts Before Bed

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When you go to sleep, your body will be 6-8 hours without food. During this time your muscles will be in a state of recovery and repair, especially if you are on a strict workout program. In this case almonds and other nuts can be a great bedtime snack for you.

They are a calories dense food that is packed with omega 3 fatty acids and healthy fats which need a lot of time to digest. If you consume nuts about 30 minutes before bedtime, your body will have enough nutrients during the night. It will improve your recovery and growth and it will prevent your body from shutting down throughout the night.

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Keep It Light At Night

Besides opting for things like whole fruits and veggies at night, Dr. Nandi suggests keeping late-night snacks as small as possible. Instead of eating a heavy meal at night, he recommends “eating six nutrient-dense small meals per day for sustained energy and appetite control.” He also explains that “restricting your food intake during the day can lead to cravings and unhealthy late-night snacking.”

How To Prevent Excess Gas Production In The Gut:

Eliminating certain foods like high FODMAPs foods a group of carbohydrates helps to prevent excess gas production.

FODMAPs are carbohydrates that pass through the digestion and get fermented by gut bacteria. Gas is produced in this fermentation process. Although everyone is not sensitive to high FODMAP foods, individuals with digestive disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome/ Ulcerative Colitis are highly affected and suffer bloating, cramping, flatulence, and diarrhea, etc.

Avoid High FODMAPs foods :

Vegetables: Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, onion, garlic, mushrooms, peas, etc

Fruits: Apricots, apples, pears, canned fruits, cherries, etc.

Dairy products: lactose in milk, yogurt ice cream

Wheat and other grains like barley and rye

Legumes: Beans, lentils, chickpeas, baked beans, etc.

Sweeteners: Fructose, honey, xylitol, mannitol, sorbitol

Carbonated beverages, chewing gums, soft drinks with high fructose corn syrup.

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Snacks That Are Loaded With Carbs

One of the worst offenders is cereal and milk. Thats because its hard to control how much you eat.

Cereal is loaded with carbs, especially if sweetened and lets be honest, it typically is, she says. Add 1 cup of any type of cows milk, and you get 8 grams of protein plus 12 grams of carbohydrate. Using whole milk also gives you extra fat calories that you certainly dont need at the end of the day, she notes.

If you must have cereal, look for a brand thats very low in sugar and high in fiber, and measure out 1 cup, she suggests. Then pair it with an unsweetened milk alternative such as almond, soy, flax, hemp or coconut milk.

Should You Eat Before Bed All The Pros And Cons

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By Sanchita SenCertified Sleep Coach

There are a lot of conflicting opinions when it comes to nighttime snacking and whether or not its healthy. Our take is that depending on the foods you consume, nighttime

There are a lot of conflicting opinions when it comes to nighttime snacking and whether or not its healthy. Our take is that depending on the foods you consume, nighttime snacking may enhance sleep quality and improve weight loss.

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Is It Bad To Eat Right Before You Go To Bed

Whether youve been working late or enjoyed a meal out, for many of us, eating after 7pm is a common occurrence, despite most of us being familiar with the old adage that eating late at night can cause a variety of health problems, from a bigger waistline to high blood sugar levels to a poor nights sleep. Yet is eating right before you climb into bed really such a problem? Well, Im going to address some of the main concerns surrounding this tricky subject!

Does Lack Of Sleep Cause Overeating

Research studies have found that insufficient sleep increases overeating and unhealthy food choices. Not surprisingly, studies have also linked insufficient sleep to weight gain and a higher risk of obesity.

Disruptions to normal hormone production are a driving factor behind sleep deprivation leading to overeating. Sleep plays a vital role in regulating hormone levels, including the hormones leptin and ghrelin, which are integral to hunger and appetite.

Ghrelin is closely related to hunger while leptin is tied to feeling full. A lack of sleep has been found to trigger increased levels of ghrelin and , leading to increased hunger and appetite. This makes overeating more likely, especially since more time awake creates increased opportunities to eat.

Insufficient sleep also affects parts of the brain that determine how we think about food. In studies of people with limited sleep, brain activity is enhanced in areas that are involved in viewing food as a positive reward, making us more vulnerable to eating too much.

Even worse, these changes in the brain seem to be strongest with foods that can more easily contribute to obesity. One study found increased appetite for high-calorie foods in people who didnt get enough sleep. Similar results have been found in young children and adolescents, indicating that poor sleep may be a factor contributing to rising rates of childhood obesity.

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Hot Peppers & Spicy Foods

“I love recommending hot peppers as an easy way to boost metabolism, but consuming them late in the evening can trigger heartburn in sensitive individuals,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, author of Belly Fat Diet for Dummies. “Also, their thermogenic properties can increase the body’s core temperature.” Since your core temperature naturally decreases as you get ready to sleep, raising it can cause you to feel more awake and struggle with staying asleep. So keep the hot and spicy options for your healthy breakfast ideas.

The Best And Worst Foods For Sleep

Does Eating Late At Night Causes Weight gain Insomnia And ...

Struggling to switch off at the end of the day? If you have tried every sleep remedy under the sun and still cant seem to doze off, it may be because youre eating the wrong foods before bed.

Top tips we recommend for eating before bed include:

  • Avoid eating late at night, as your body will be converting food into energy.

  • Pay attention to portion control, as large portions can disrupt digestion.

  • Avoid stimulants, such as sugars or caffeine, as they will keep you up at night.

  • Eat something before your body starts to wind down. Going to bed on an empty stomach drops blood sugar levels and interferes with the bodys ability to sleep well.

Take a look at how you can improve your circadian rhythm with the best and worst foods for sleep.

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Obesity And Other Diseases

3.3.1. Obesity

Given the growing interest in nighttime eating and its potential link to obesity and other cardiometabolic diseases, it is important to examine the impact of nighttime macronutrient choices on health outcomes in these populations. Waller et al. demonstrated that providing a low fat, low calorie nighttime snack as opposed to the typical high fat/high calorie food option may be beneficial to overweight and obese adults. In this four week study, overweight and obese adults were randomized to receive a structured, post-dinner snack consisting of cereal and 2/3 cup of low-fat milk or a control group that maintained their normal eating and post-dinner snacking behaviors . The cereal was consumed every night at least 90 min after dinner for the duration of the study and the control group was offered the cereal after the initial four weeks. Findings from this study indicated that having a structured, post-dinner snack resulted in lower total daily caloric intake, evening caloric intake and modest weight loss in compliant individuals . While not explicitly described, an interesting theory is that less food was consumed at dinner when it was known that an evening snack would be available.

Resting Metabolic Rate Following Acute and Four Weeks of Nighttime Macronutrient Ingestion in Overweight and Obese Women. CHO, carbohydrate WH, whey protein CAS, casein protein. This figure was adapted and redrawn from Kinsey et al. and Ormsbee et al. .

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