Sleeping After You Eat – is it Healthy during a Weight Loss Program?

Does Going to Bed After a Meal make you Gain Weight? After a meal, your body goes straight to work trying to digest and process that food, which is why you often feel tired and sleepy after a big meal as your body dedicates a lot of available energy to digestion.

Is giving in to the desire to sleep after you eat a good thing for weight loss? – this is you what need to know. Sleeping after you eat might lead to the following;  

  1. Weight Gain
  2. Sleep issues
  3. Gastrointestinal (GI) issues

Sleeping After you Eat = Weight Gain?

The foods we eat during our Late night snacks are rarely healthy, we are usually tired and we will more easily give in to those sweet temptations of chocolates and sweets.

These high calorie foods consumed late at night when we will be soon sleeping, and not active and moving around, is a serious weight gain factor.

If you manage to eat healthy foods, this late-eating is less of an issue. Healthy foods will help your body control the blood sugar level, which is important for a good sleep. Examples of healthy late night snacks include;

  1. Greek yogurt with almonds and/or fresh kiwi
  2. Whole grain bread or crackers
  3. Cereal with high fiber content and low fat milk
  4. A fresh fruit (apple, melon or a kiwi)

When it comes to gaining weight, we need to consider also that these Late night snacks are often taken when we are not even actually hungry. This means we would be taking in calories we do not need.

Late night snacks are often taken when we are not even actually hungry

Gastrointestinal (GI) issues

GI issues will very likely not let you sleep well at night. Digesting whilst you are lying down is not a good thing, the ideal position is upright to have gravity in our favour.

Picture your stomach being full, and not only does your body have to churn, process and digest the food in it, but it also has to work against gravity pushing the food from the stomach to the small intestine.

Whilst lying down you also might get an acid reflux from the acid in the stomach going back up the oesophagus, giving you a nasty heartburn which will also affect the quality of your sleep.

Digesting whilst you are lying down is not a good thing

The stomach acid is an important part of the digestive process and having this acid safely working inside of the stomach is very important.  

This Sleeping after you eat matter, is also affected of course by What you Eat. Greasy foods with a sugary soft drink will give you a lot of problems, but some fresh fruit will actually be beneficial and will help you sleep better. Drinking Caffeine or Alcohol before going to sleep is known to keep a lot of people awake or to give them a really bad sleep, not allowing you to get a deep sleep and waking up regularly at night.

Having your body working hard on digestion, just before you go to sleep, is likely to keep your brain active and can make you have some bad dreams or nightmares.

Eating high protein or high fat foods before going to sleep is more problematic, as these are even harder to digest.

How to avoid late night eating

  1. Plan ahead: if during the day you eat meals that are more balanced and satisfying, you will have less of a tendency to snack at night. Also if you stock up on healthy snacks, you will manage to go for these foods instead of the less healthy ones. Your weight loss journey starts by making the correct choices whilst at the supermarket.  
  2. First drink water: Water is very healthy and keeping hydrated is very important. Before going for those snacks, first drink a large glass of water, you might actually just be thirsty and not hungry at all.  
  3. Distract Yourself: if you seeing yourself going for those snacks, try changing what you are doing, turn of the TV and read a book, or listen to some music, or get some fresh air outside. Distract yourself and move away from those snacks and bad habits.
  4. Sleep more: Sleeping more tends to reduce your appetite through certain hormones being released into the bloodstream, and therefore you eat less and take in less calories.


We can do a lot about reducing the effects of Sleeping After You Eat, or trying to avoid this outright. As in many cases, preparation is important, as it makes it easier for us to make the right choices.

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