How Long Should You Wait To Sleep After Eating? You Need To Know This

In most cases, sleeping immediately right after eating is a common thing in most lives. Indeed, you might feel drowsy after having a meal, right? With that, we usually lie in bed and seems to take a long nap. Yes, this could be unhealthy and so having to wait for at least quite a few minutes must be considered. But, how long should you wait to sleep after eating?

How Long Should You Wait To Sleep After Eating

How Long Should You Wait To Sleep After Eating

How Long Should You Wait To Sleep After Eating?

First, have you ever wondered why do you feel sleepy after eating? Most of us have this urge to sleep right after eating since our bodies are being occupied in digesting the food which has been consumed. After eating, the brain will send signals to the organs for immediate digestion as well as directs all the blood away from the rest of our organs.

These red blood cells will help in digesting the food that helps in distributing the nutrients all over the body resulting in the brain to blood deprivation making you feel sleepy. In such case, how long will you wait for you to sleep since its unhealthy to sleep after eating?

There are several types of research which recommend that you wait for at about an hour before sleeping after a meal to prevent any digestive system problems. It is best that you should wait two to three hours if any kind of spicy or sugary food has been eaten.

For those with gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, better avoid eating any food for about three hours before you go to bed. And during the said period, there is a need to keep an upright position.

Some of the reasons why you need to wait after having a meal before you go to sleep include the following:

  • Sleeping soon after you eat could disturb your sleep since food is considered to be a very disruptive factor to the sleep pattern. You might wake up many times at night because of bloated feeling after you have a heavy meal.
  • And also, sleeping after eating could make the GERD worse. So, better wait up to three hours before you go to sleep after eating if you have GERD for the stomach acid to decrease leading to a fewer symptoms only.

Risks of Sleeping After a Meal

Some of the possible dangers that might happen if you continue on sleeping after sleeping includes the following:

Acid Reflux

This one is also termed as the feeling of the GERD. This condition arises due to the location of the valve in between the stomach and the esophagus that doesn’t close. The stomach acids will move towards the throat and will make you feel like a burning sensation. Once such condition is not immediately treated, there will be damaging effects on the mucous membrane of the throat that might lead to further complications.


Yes, it feels good to lie down after a meal, but you should know that it will lead to heartburn that might affect your sleep. This problem happens because of the excessive production of the stomach acids that spread from the stomach and direct towards the chest or throat. And this stomach acids that head towards the upper organs will lead to belching or a sour taste in one’s mouth. This heartburn is as well associated with burping making it hard for you to have a sound sleep.

Sleeping Issues

Indeed, eating a meal before sleeping leads to stomach pain and bloating that results in turning and tossing of the body. Fatty, dense and spicy foods result in digestive issues such as heartburn and sleep complications.

What to Avoid After Eating?

In order to avoid any digestive problems, there are some things you need to follow:

  • Avoid bathing right after a meal

Taking a shower after eating will increase the possibility of suffering the digestive issues. Taking a shower will increase the blood flow through the legs, hands and all over your body. And this leads to less blood flow towards the digestive organs at the same time weakens the digestive functions. Once planning to take a shower, wait up to 40 minutes after you eat a meal.

  • Avoid smoking

Some studies conclude that smoking a cigarette after having a meal might be the same as ten cigarettes consumed at different times. This will increase the risk of having lung cancer.

  • Avoid drinking tea

You should not drink tea about an hour before you eat and after you finish a meal since the acidity of the tea could make it hard for the body to digest the food adequately. The acids of the tea will have hard proteins making it hard to digest as well as it prevents the body from absorbing iron.

  • Avoid eating foods after eating

Fruits could help the body in digestion once consume an hour or two hours before eating dinner or lunch. Once the fruits are eaten after a meal, bloating could be experienced.

If You are Hungry Before Going to Bed

Of course, there could indeed be an instance wherein you can be hungry before you fall asleep. And it could be so hard for you to fall asleep if you are hungry. In such case, eating a snack which is modest in size and filling might be enough. Some suggestions include the following:

  • A tasty snack could be something like a whole grain cracker along with cottage cheese. This is considered as a perfect meal before you sleep because it will satisfy the hunger and could be easily digested as well. And it is also a healthy source of protein and carbs.
  • Eating fatty foods such as pizza and burger is a counterproductive matter. They are full of unwanted calories, and they are tough to digest too.
  • You might also have a bowl of whole-grain cereal along with some milk. There is just a need to avoid those sugar-filled cereals as they might add more unwanted calories at the same time increase in insulin levels might be observed.

There is a need for you to include fiber and protein for the last meal to prevent hunger pass at night. Some recommendation includes the following:

Soups and Stews

These options are indeed delicious, and they could offer lots of nutrients. You might use meat broth, chicken broth, or fish broth as the base then add some veggies such as onions, garlic, potatoes, corn, carrots and more to get more fibers and vitamins. For additional flavor and texture, you may add shredded chicken, fish, beef, and shrimps too or even crabs. You have limitless options to customize the said dish.


You still wonder how long should you wait after sleeping along with what to eat as the last meal, and wraps are great options. They are something very easy and quick to make. Pick a wheat tortilla to make sure of a higher intake of fiber and mix it with protein-rich sources like eggs, turkey, chicken or lean beef with different vegetables like mushrooms, tomatoes, arugula, spinach, bell peppers, avocado, onions or lettuce. And adding low-fat cheese could help in improving the flavor. Just put the ingredients on the tortilla, roll up and enjoy!

Grilled Vegetables and Meat

Why not enjoy the last meal with something nutritious and delicious? With the use of an outside grill, you can have some tasty and healthy meal. Some excellent choices are flank steaks, chicken breasts, salmon, trout, and shrimps. You might season them with pepper, sea salt and a bit of olive oil.

Of course, you can grill vegetables too such as potatoes, onions, eggplant, bell pepper, corn, tomatoes and asparagus which are known to be both nutritious and delicious.

Stir Fry

And for a simple yet healthy option, stir-fry meals are best considered. You might use protein-rich foods like eggs, grilled chicken, fish or tofu, trimmed sirloin steak, and make sure to include a bunch of some colorful veggies of your choice to get more fibers, Vitamin C and Vitamin A.

Carrots, onions, bell peppers, squash, peas, mushrooms, asparagus, corn, and eggplant are excellent choices. Just mix all the said ingredients then stir-fry them with the use of olive oil up until they are cooked properly. And finally, season them with soy sauce in low-sodium and serve along with yummy brown rice. You will definitely get a well-balanced diet that is rich in proteins, vitamins, and fibers.

Final Words

Again, how long should you wait to sleep after eating? The answer is clear – at least an hour or best to consider two to three hours to be more assured of not having any problems. The next time you eat a heavy meal, try not to close your eyes and sleep, instead remember the things I have mentioned here! For suggestions and comments, feel free to leave your thoughts below!

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