Even though intuitively we know this can't possibly be a wise move, surprisingly many people do eat within an hour of going to sleep (and sometimes a heavy meal--think the European lifestyle of late-evening family meals). "So what's the big deal?" you may ask. The list of adverse health consequences range from acid reflux (AKA heartburn) to high blood pressure to type-2 diabetes to obesity and so on. Of late is a new study presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2011 which found a correlation between sleeping soon (specifically within an hour) after dinner and an increased risk of stroke. Stroke is the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer. One theory for the causation may be related to acid reflux disease which causes sleep apnea which in turn is a risk factor for stroke. Yet another theory is that soon after eating blood sugar levels rise along with cholesterol levels which affects blood viscosity and flow, increasing stroke risk.
Whatever the cause, it would be better to have a light snack (e.g., 1/2 cup of cottage cheese, slice of cheese, half of a sandwich, a handful of whole-grain crackers, or a protein shake) rather than a big meal. In this way, indigestion risk will be minimized and glucose levels will not fluctuate dramatically. Remember the old saying, "Eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a Prince, and dinner like a Pauper."
Brian Danley, CFT
"Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going."
Brian Danley, CFT "Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going." 408-688-1586 (cell) briandanleyfitness.com https://www.linkedin.com/in/briandanleyfitness https://www.facebook.com/BrianDanleyFitness
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I'm a personal trainer who loves to help others fulfill their health and fitness goals. I consider myself a bodybuilder in that I live the lifestyle of eating healthy food, working out regularly, and sculpting my body.