To eat or not to eat, that is the question. This question is one that we ask ourselves when we've had a long day and finally are able to relax and watch a movie, or when dinner felt like hours ago and our stomach begins communicating to us. For years this has been a controversial topic, and honestly, still is one today. Why? Because there are great nutritional arguments on both sides.
Related Blog: Pros and Cons of Exercising Before Bed
Let's look at the side that suggests eating before bed may not be the best thing for your health:
1. Eating Before Bed May Lead To Unhealthy Habits
While there is no current evidence that proves eating before bed causes weight gain, there is evidence showing that more people that eat before bed are likely to experience weight gain. Often a simple snack turns into a full blown meal, not only costing extra calories, but if overdone, completely exceeding any calorie count that was in place. Another unhealthy habit is eating so much before bed that you are full when waking up, and therefore, do not eat until the next evening.
2. Eating Before Bed Often Results In Bad Food Choices
Very rarely, if ever, does anyone delight themselves in a late night salad. No, most often cravings before bed are for desserts and junk foods, which are all high in sugar and unhealthy fats. Caffeinated beverages and certain chocolate treats, also tend to keep your mind alert, which will hinder your sleep that night.
3. Eating Before Bed Is Bad If You Have Reflux
When your stomach acid rises back into your throat, it is known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is a lot more common in Western societies. Your food needs to process properly and so lying down in bed with a full stomach could result in reflux, leaving you uncomfortable and dissatisfied.
4. Eating Before Bed Is Bad Because Our Bodies Were Designed Differently
Sitting in an upright position helps us to digest our foods easier as gravity takes its position and keeps the contents of our stomachs down. Since the stomach takes about 3 hours to fully empty itself, waiting until it's done is not a bad idea. This way, when you do eventually sleep, you will not interrupt your body and your body won't interrupt you.