Too greedy to sleep?

With everything that’s been going on over the last few weeks – summer holidays, moving house, acquiring a puppy – I’ve been somewhat distracted from my foodie task. As a reminder, a couple of months ago I set myself the terribly cumbersome task of testing the impact of certain foods and drinks on my sleep quality. So far, it’s been quite a challenge, involving lots of mouth-wateringly-good wines, and a delicious bedtime drink of warm milk and honey! What a trooper I am!

I was reminded of my lack of focus on this most-important matter last night, whilst I was snuggled up in bed – and wide-awake, god damn it! The worst part was that I only had myself to blame, and I knew it.

Only a few hours earlier I’d stuffed myself with pizza whilst at dinner with friends. Afterwards we’d all gathered around my kitchen table to gossip and eat Lindt truffles one after another until bedtime. It was a lovely evening, but now I was paying the price – a bloated, gurgling, tummy and a restless night’s sleep. Simply put, I’d been a silly greedy moo!

Generally, the rule of thumb is that you should eat your last meal of the day at least two to three hours before bedtime. The reason being that eating late at night – especially heavy, rich, high fat and high calorie foods – can cause discomfort, heartburn and indigestion, which can ruin a good night’s sleep.

Perhaps there’s something I could learn from the saying “Eat breakfast like a king, eat lunch like a prince and eat dinner like a pauper”.  It makes sense: eat most of your food earlier in the day, when your digestive system is naturally more active, and eat more modestly in the evening as your digestive process is naturally winding down. By doing so, you give your body chance to focus on rest and repair, rather than on digesting a big meal, while you sleep.

But, it’s easier said than done. Hectic modern life – where nothing can wait ‘til tomorrow and, in fact, should have been done yesterday – makes it hard to eat anything but small simple meals, often on the go, during the daytime. Plus, for me, spending time to cook a tasty evening meal to share with my other-half whilst we précis the day, is one of my pleasures of the day. I don’t want to give that up!

So, I’ll leave the conundrum with you, for you to decide what’s best for you and your lifestyle. I’ll be moderating my evening food intake and trying not to be such a glutton in future!

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