How Long Should You Stay Awake After Eating?

Content by: 180 Nutrition

180 Nutrition: Can you sleep after you have eaten a sumptuous evening meal or snack? In this article, we will examine the fact and fiction about this matter.

Eating and sleeping are both essential to our overall welfare. They act as natural restorative processes so that our bodies can function effectively. Of course, they can help us when it comes to combating illnesses

Right now, it is already undeniable that a lot of us are fond of eating. As humans, we are really built to munch at every good stuff that we encounter. As much as possible, we wouldn’t want our tummies to growl due to hunger.

The feeling of fullness is quite fine. But should it drag down to your bed? Is it safe to sleep while you are dozing off?

How long should I stay awake after eating?

Well, the answers to these questions are just right below.

Why Do We feel Sleepy After We Eat Anyway?

To put it simply, eating can somehow make us feel calm and relaxed. But why? What causes it?

Specifically, the problem lies with the food that you eat. It is not exactly the feeling of fullness that makes you tired. Right from the get-go, there is particular foodstuff that promotes sleepiness.

Let me give you an example. Pork and turkey are among the notorious food that has contained a lot of tryptophan. In our body, this particular element is being processed so that it can be converted to melatonin and serotonin. These are agents that cause sleepiness.

Milk can also promote sleep. It is a drink that sedates the brain and ensures that you can feel relaxed and calm. Perhaps, it is the very reason why your parents had forced you to drink milk before bedtime.

Alcohol can make you feel sleepy. But after its effects wear off, it will disrupt your rest. Therefore, if you are planning to sleep, alcohol is never the secret ingredient.

Some food intakes may affect our circadian rhythm. Those food items that can increase blood sugar levels might also change your body clock.

Can You Sleep After Eating?

People who are quite bothered by this question should pay attention to this part. I bet that most of us feel sleepy and tired after a full meal. It is a satisfying sensation that you want to experience from time to time.

Because of this, we tend to believe that is entirely okay to sleep right after you have eaten. However, you should resist this urge as your body may suffer.

When you sleep after you eat, the food in your stomach will not be properly digested. Always remember that proper digestion happens when your body is in an upright position. If you lie down, the food digestion and nutrient absorption would not be optimised.

There are health problems that you can sustain if you persist in dozing off even if your tummy is full. For instance, doing this can make you susceptible to digestive issues.  Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is one of the common consequences of this habit.

This is just one of the harrowing effects problems just because you feel that your bed is calling you already.

How Long Should I Stay Awake After Eating?

Right now, you are already aware that sleeping after you have eaten will always be disadvantageous on your part. Your digestion and regularity in sleeping can be affected if you will make this habit continuously.

As for now, it is important that you know when you should lie on your bed after a full stomach. It is quite imperative that we understand when to stop eating if we are planning to sleep on a particular schedule or hour.

According to most health professionals that I have spoken to, the safest interval between your meal and sleep is around three to four hours. During this period, your body will be able to digest the food that is within your stomach. Standing upright while this is happening will hasten the process of digestion although not completely realistic.

In fact, you can sleep well if your stomach is empty but if you need a few extra pointers there are various methods you can try to optimise your evening rest.

Activities You Can Do After Eating

Instead of sleeping, there are various things that you can do after your dinner instead:

Take a warm bath

It is an excellent way to relax after a stressful day. It also prepares your mind and body for a good sleep.

Reading book

There are lots of stuff that you can read to pass your time. The more you are entertained, the less sleepy you become. After reading, your body and mind are ready to sleep.

By the way, if your sleeping schedule is due to the academic or office documents that you need to browse, you need to use the reading pillow.

It is an amenity that can improve your comfort level while you are reading or studying. It can help you feel relaxed, which can prevent stress eating.

Write a Journal

Writing a journal is also an enjoyable activity that you can do when you have a full stomach. It provides you a good insight of your day, making you feel better. It helps you release your stress, enabling a sound and undisturbed sleep.

Wrapping It Up

Right from the start, sleep should never follow a heavy meal immediately. Once your body undergoes digestion, it should never be hampered and interrupted. Sadly, lying flat will make it difficult for your digestive system to absorb and process the food that is within you.

You can always eat a sumptuous dinner on the night. Nobody will ever forbid you about that–unless you are on a diet. The only thing that you have to avoid is going to your bed right after you left the kitchen table.

That’s it for now. If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comment section below.


Author’s Bio:

My name is Layla Parker, the founder and chief editor of I decided to start taking my blog about sleep seriously to help people find what they need to experience better sleep and maintain their health. Do check out my website to learn more how to improve it now!

180 Nutrition

This article was curated by 180 Nutrition who were founded in March 2010 with the goal to offer the very best in natural health supplements and resources. The passionate team are aligned with leading health and wellness professionals including nutritionists, naturopaths, functional medicine and exercise specialists. They regularly connect with... Read More

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