Health & Wellness

Eating Before Bedtime: Does it Make Falling Asleep Difficult?

We are in an era where there are lots of things to do. Therefore, there are way more factors that influence a person’s sleeping behavior, to the point that some even develop sleep-wake disorders. One of the sleep disorders that many people have is insomnia. It is characterized by difficulty falling or staying asleep, which can range from mild to severe and can be caused by physical or psychological factors, such as stress or anxiety.

But did you know that irregular eating habits, particularly poor meal timings, can also trigger difficulty in falling asleep or insomnia? It can affect a person’s quality of life and ability to function at work or school and fulfil daily duties. Hence, it is important to find ways to manage your sleeping habit before it worsens.

Why is eating before bedtime not good?

Eating close to bedtime is one of the most overlooked factors that contribute to sleep problems. Although it may sound harmless, it can significantly impact how quickly and easily one falls asleep. Eating, particularly a large meal before going to bed, can cause digestion issues, restlessness, and indigestion. All of which can cause difficulty in falling asleep.

Besides the timing, certain foods, such as sugary snacks or spicy foods, can also cause discomfort and disrupt sleep. Sugar intake can cause your blood sugar levels to spike, leading to an energy surge that can make it harder to fall asleep. Spicy food, on the other hand, can trigger reflux symptoms or may cause indigestion. Both of which can disrupt your sleep.

Tips to Avoid Eating Close to Bedtime

  • Try eating dinner at least 3 hours before hitting the sack, so your body has time to digest.
  • Avoid sugary snacks before bed, as they can give you an energy boost and make it difficult to fall asleep.
  • Avoid drinking caffeine late in the day, as it can make it harder to fall asleep.
  • Drink a glass of water an hour before bed to stay hydrated.
  • If you get hungry before bed, reach for something light, like yogurt, a piece of fruit or a small handful of nuts.
  • Distract yourself with relaxing activities like reading a book or taking a bath.

Advanced Ways to Fall Asleep Faster

Use a sleep sound machine

Using a sleep sound machine can help with sleep faster by providing a consistent and calming soundscape that can help block out distractions and promote relaxation. Sleep sound machine app offers additional features wherein you can customise your experience and create a sleep-inducing atmosphere that works best for you. In addition to sleep sound machines, some people also find using a white noise app helpful. You can find free sleep apps for iPhone and Android in app stores.

Program your AIs assistants to play relaxing music or nature sounds during bedtime

With the abundance of technology around us, you can take advantage of using your AI assistants, such as Alexa or Siri, to play music for you to fall asleep to. With Alexa, you can ask her to play a specific type of music, such as classical or ambient, or you can ask her to play a specific artist or song. With Siri, you can ask her to play music from Apple Music or another music streaming service. Use them to make a conducive surrounding that can provide a relaxing effect. The sounds can help to reduce stress, anxiety, and tension, allowing the body to relax and transition into sleep.

Take Away

Falling asleep can be a challenging thing to do if you have established poor sleeping habits over time. The good thing is there are ways to combat these disrupting factors to restore your normal sleeping pattern. Besides avoiding eating before you go to bed, there are also some helpful ways, such as using the best white noise apps to help you set a relaxing mood and block out distractions.


We are nutritionist, health writer's, and food bloggers. Check it out our latest health & wellness articles on fitness, diet, and healthy living.

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