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Recent research suggests that the timing and frequency of our meals can have a significant impact on our sleep quality and duration. Eating patterns have been found to be closely related to sleep patterns, with certain eating habits linked to better sleep and others linked to poorer sleep.

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, consuming heavy meals close to bedtime can disrupt sleep patterns, as the body works to digest the food, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Instead, experts recommend consuming lighter meals at least two to three hours before bedtime, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol in the evening, as they can interfere with sleep quality.

Additionally, research has shown that going to bed hungry can also negatively impact sleep quality, leading to difficulty falling asleep and disrupted sleep throughout the night. A study published in the Journal of Sleep Research found that individuals who consumed a small, protein-rich snack before bedtime had better sleep quality and duration compared to those who did not.

Furthermore, research suggests that establishing a regular eating pattern can help regulate the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, also known as the circadian rhythm. This means eating meals at the same time each day and avoiding erratic eating habits, which can disrupt the body’s natural rhythm and lead to sleep disturbances.

Overall, adopting a healthy eating pattern that includes consuming lighter meals earlier in the evening and avoiding heavy meals close to bedtime can help improve sleep quality and duration. Additionally, consuming a small, protein-rich snack before bedtime can also promote better sleep quality. By establishing a regular eating pattern, individuals can support their body’s natural circadian rhythm and promote better sleep habits.


  • St-Onge, M. P., Roberts, A. L., Chen, J., Kelleman, M., O’Keeffe, M., RoyChoudhury, A., & Jones, P. J. (2016). Short sleep duration increases energy intakes but does not change energy expenditure in normal-weight individuals. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 103(3), 667-675. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.124669
  • Afaghi, A., O’Connor, H., & Chow, C. M. (2007). High-glycemic-index carbohydrate meals shorten sleep onset. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 85(2), 426-430. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/85.2.426
  • Dashti, H. S., Scheer, F. A. J. L., Jacques, P. F., Lamon-Fava, S., & Ordovas, J. M. (2015). Short sleep duration and dietary intake: epidemiologic evidence, mechanisms, and health implications. Advances in Nutrition, 6(6), 648-659. doi: 10.3945/an.115.008623
  • Kinsey, A. W., Ormsbee, M. J., & Rodriguez, N. R. (2014). Effects of midnight snack and carbohydrate-rich meal on metabolism and performance during simulated firefighting activity. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 24(4), 444-452. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2013-0165