Do you make dinner reservations in time for the early bird specials, or are you more of a late night snacker? Either way works as long as you are wrapping up dinner about three hours before bed time. Eating three hours before you turn in for the night will ensure your best chance at a good night sleep.
Three hours will give your body just enough time to digest everything from dinner thereby reducing any possible sleep disruption caused by poor digestion. If you are eating meals with high fat or protein content, more time may be needed for digestion. Eating too early can cause drops in blood sugar which will wake you up in the middle of the night.
Meal timing pays an important role in digestion and your circadian rhythm. If you are unable to eat three hours before falling asleep, eating consistently each night at the same time preps your body for its nighty digestion routine.
If you have a sweet tooth, you might need to rethink desserts. Eating high sugary food right before bed with cause spikes and dips in your blood sugar which disrupts sleep. If you need something to satisfy that sweet craving, eat something without added sugars and high in fiber. Good choices would be fruit and nuts. Chocolate has its place too on the dessert plate, just opt for darker chocolate with less added sugars. But most importantly, eat dessert right after dinner and within three hours before bed to give yourself the best chance for a suitable slumber.
Additional Tips for Better Sleep
In addition to meal timing, make sure you sleep in a very dark room. Light exposure triggers wakefulness and alertness which can pose a problem for restful sleeping. Also, most sleep experts recommend sleeping at roughy 65° Fahrenheit for quality sleep. Sweet dreams.
Dr Spencer Charlet
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