Eating Food Before You Sleep

 

So I have this issue.

It’s really a funny thing.

Anytime I eat way too much pizza or pasta before I go to sleep, I wake up anywhere from 1230-2am and can’t go back to sleep for the life of me. And I’m 95% sure it’s more than just the guilt of eating an entire pizza that’s keeping me up. I just sit there twiddling my thumbs, trying to figure out what the best strategy is to relax and go back to sleep.

pizza nap

Thinking back to the college days, the same kind of thing would happen when I would have more than a drink or two.

So I did some reading. On sleep. On Nutrition. And how they interact.

And guess what… It’s hugely important.

It is known that individuals who stay up late or work overnight have a higher incidence of obesity, diabetes and corresponding metabolic ailments. Which is no bueno. Sleep is good. Especially when your body is supposed to sleep.

In this analysis the food nerds attempt to discern between different types of macronutrients, micronutrients and relate it to sleep patterns.  The general conclusion is that food CAN throw off your circadian rhythm (sleep cycle). There is no blanket answer as to what causes a particular person to interrupt their sleep when consuming food. But there is speculation that high fat diets and carbohydrate consumption prior to sleeping could cause interruption of sleep cycles.

At the same time, food can make you sleepy after a big meal.

At a certain point, your body will start to shut down due to the amount of excess calories consumed (I’m looking at you, Thanksgiving). There is a response from your body at a certain point that tells your body to slow the eff down and focus on digesting the ridiculous amount of Calories/sugar/fat you just ate. And that’s why you’ll get sleepy after a big meal. But it can also come back to bite you in the butt later at night – as it’s theorized that the insulin spike in the middle of the night can keep you awake. Which may be happening when you eat an entire pizza before bed…

What this means for you –

  • Sleep more for better health.
  • Pay attention to what you eat before bed. If you have a night where you’re tossing and turning all night, maybe look at what you ate for dinner/bedtime snack and adjust.
  • Maybe pizza isn’t a superfood.

Ok, cool.

 

 

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