Early Dinner — Early Bedtime

One way to ensure an early enough bedtime (to get the sleep you need) is to eat earlier in the evening. Getting enough sleep is a non-negotiable, essential component to wellness. Our bodies perform tasks while we are asleep that are not possible when awake, so it’s important to allow for these events to happen.

There are two reasons why an early dinner is beneficial for sleep and homeostasis.

  1. The behavioral reason is that the earlier you have dinner the earlier you can relax into evening activities and be ready for bed. Dinner sets the pace for the evening.
  2. The physiological reason is that digestion may compete with sleep processes. In short, it requires energy. Research shows that 12 hours without food in the body is ideal for optimal night time cell cleansing activities. Look up autophagy.

How early?

Researchers at the University of Michigan recommend 3 hours between dinner and bedtime. A 9pm bedtime and 6pm dinner can be tricky if you get home from work around that time.

Tips for an early dinner

  • Plan meals for the entire week
  • Prep vegetables by rinsing and chopping ahead of time
  • Choose meals that have overlapping ingredients
  • Cook twice a week in a big batch and eat leftovers

Eating meals around the same time each day also helps your body get on a rhythm. Our bodies are more rhythmic than we realize. Being on a rhythm can save you energy and time.

If you need help figuring out what your ideal bedtime and magic sleep number are, check out my 5-Week Sleep Program.

If you need help with meal planning and eating, check out Conscious Nutrition.

This article originally published on www.BeverlyHosford.com

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Beverly Hosford

I’m a fitness writer, editor and educator. I love living in the mountains of Montana with my husband, son and two pups. www.BeverlyHosford.com