Sleep Foundation

Late eating


A large meal late in the evening can create a mild stress on the body. This can prevent the body moving into a relaxed state with refreshing sleep. This delay in reaching a relaxed state can last for 3-6 hours.

In an ideal world it would perhaps be best for large meals to be eaten no later than the afternoon. However, there are a range of factors that influence the time of day we eat, so it is important to personalise what works for you.

To improve health consider

  • Eat your main meal earlier in the day, with a smaller meal in the evening if needed.
  • When possible, ensure the evening meal is eaten at least 2 hours before bed.


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