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How Meal Timing Impacts Sleep

by Steven Brown
Meal Timing Impacts Sleep

If you’re like me, you might think, “Who cares about sleep?” or “I can sleep when I’m dead.”
However, getting enough sleep is crucial, especially if your goal is to reduce body fat. One study showed that people who slept less than six hours per night were more likely to gain weight over time.

Another study found that people who slept less than five hours per night were more likely to have a lower resting metabolic rate and higher levels of insulin resistance.

So what’s going on here? How does meal timing impact sleep quality and quantity? Several factors are at play, including circadian rhythms (your body’s internal clock), metabolism, and blood sugar levels.

Meal Timing and Home Sleep Apnea Test

We’ve all heard the saying: “Have breakfast like a king, have lunch like a prince, and have dinner like a pauper.” But why? What does that mean?

Meal timing is a thing. It’s a thing because it’s pretty important. If you eat too much or too little, your body can get all out of whack, and you might have some health issues.

So, how do you figure out when to eat? This, of course, is highly subjective and dependent on the individual. Do what works best for you, whether that’s sleeping in until 7 a.m. or starting your day with a hearty breakfast. The point is that there isn’t a right answer here. You just have to find what works for you after consulting a doctor online.

Insomnia Specialist’s Advice on Meal Timing and Sleep Cycles

It’s been said that breakfast is the day’s most important meal. But what if you don’t eat breakfast? What if you eat dinner?
And what if your body doesn’t even know it’s been eating dinner?

Our bodies are built to expect specific things throughout the day. When we’re awake, our bodies expect us to be eating. When it’s dark outside, our bodies expect us to be sleeping. And when we’ve had enough sleep, our bodies expect us to wake up at a certain time so we can eat again. So when we do something unexpected—like eating dinner or waking up early—our bodies don’t know how to react.

This is why it’s not uncommon for people who eat dinner after midnight to feel sluggish and groggy the following morning, even though their bodies are designed to be alert and awake at this time. This also clarifies the paradox of why waking up early in the morning results in fatigue despite the fact that your digestive system already knows it’s time for breakfast.
According to insomnia specialists, if you want to make sure your body functions as smoothly as possible all day long, pay attention to what time of day you’re eating and sleeping—and don’t mess with those rhythms!

How Meal Timing Impacts Sleep

Meal Timing and Deep Sleep

When you think about the most important meal of the day, you probably think of breakfast. But what if we told you that dinner is the best meal of the day?

That’s right: dinner is king, and breakfast is just a poor man’s substitute for it.

How can this be? Having dinner later in the day, as opposed to lunch or breakfast, causes our bodies to produce more melatonin, according to research from Stanford University’s Department of Psychology. When our bodies produce less cortisol (the stress hormone), we produce more melatonin, which in turn helps regulate our sleep cycles. This suggests that, contrary to popular belief, eating dinner prior to bedtime actually results in better sleep quality.

And when we wake up feeling well-rested and refreshed? That’s a feeling worth staying up for!

Related: Florida Sleep Specialist

Side Note from a Sleep Apnea Doctor

If you look at the facts, it’s pretty clear that eating too close to bedtime is not good for your sleep.
The good news is that there are many solutions available to deal with this issue. To start with, try not to eat for at least two hours prior to going to bed.

Finally, if none of these methods have helped, it may be time to visit a medical professional to rule out any underlying health issues that could be preventing you from getting a good night’s rest.


So, how does meal timing impact sleep?

We’ve seen that eating late can make it harder to fall asleep, but what about eating early? Will that help you nod off, too?
According to one study, eating before bedtime made falling and staying asleep more difficult. In contrast, another study found that the timing of meals did not affect sleep. So what gives?

The answer is simple: it’s about your body’s circadian rhythm—your 24-hour cycle, which controls when you’re hungry and tired. Eating at the wrong time can throw off this rhythm and make it harder for your body to know when it should be hungry or sleepy.

Many insomnia treatment options are available online if you are suffering from sleep apnea. You can get insomnia treatment from SleepRx with an at home sleep study and consultations from insomnia specialists or a sleep medicine doctor.

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