How Eating in Bed Affects Sleep

How Eating in Bed Affects Sleep

Picnic with your pillows

Raise your hand if you enjoy eating in bed. Is it a dirty little secret we need to keep hidden under our covers and in our night stand drawers? We believe there are 3 types of people in this world.

1. Those who look at eating in bed as inappropriate and dirty
2. Those who eat in bed in all the glory of the crumbs and judgment
3. Those who feel ashamed of their habit and hide their nighttime eating beneath old magazines under their bed.

Breakfast in bed is a thing. So why is it frowned upon to have a little snack while snuggling with your mattress?

Many people believe that our bed should only be used for sleeping and the other “S” word we do there. It’s a sacred place, a sleep sanctuary for rest and recharging energy levels. For others, our relationship with our mattress may be a little more indulgent. Having a picnic with your pillows can cause some issues, but if you have no plans to break this habit we have some suggestions to help improve your sleep with snacking pre-slumber.

Snacks, bugs & sleep…oh my!

The good, the bad, the yummy – no matter what you choose to eat in bed there are some drawbacks to be aware of.

  • Bed bugs. Yuck! All those crumbs in the sheets, the bits and pieces that fall beside the nightstand and the discarded wrappers that may attract a few unwelcomed creeps, such as cockroaches and ants. Neither of which are easy to rid yourself of their pesky presence. Changing your sheets more frequently and keeping up on vacuuming can help minimize the threat of bugs.
  • Heartburn. Laying down so soon after eating can trigger this discomfort, especially those who are prone to heartburn and acid reflux. Try to avoid eating spicy food and foods that contain high yields of garlic late in the day.
  • Overeating. Experts say that eating in bed can easily fall into the mindless eating category, just like eating while watching TV or playing on your phone or lap top. Instead of enjoying the food and allowing your brain to recognize the fact that you may be full, your brain is distracted focusing on those electronic screens. Try to enjoy your meal without the company of technology to limit your chances of overeating.
  • Insomnia. A full, heavy stomach can make slumber uncomfortable. When we’re exhausted or stressed, eating right before bedtime can make digestion more difficult and cause gas and bloating. If you plan on snoozing right after snacking in bed, choose a lighter option to limit the risk of experiencing disrupted sleep throughout the night.


Snack regulation before sleep

While a full stomach can keep you awake at night, so can trying to sleep on an empty tummy. What’s the fix? Rid yourself of hunger without disrupting your sleep. If eating in bed brings you no shame (and this blogger hopes it doesn’t) and you need to snack on something before bed, in the comfort of your own covers, then I have some great suggestions to ponder.

  • Snack light – For those calorie counters out there, experts suggest to choose low calorie midnight treats.
  • Keep it simple – Reach for something easy to digest and promote calmness to prep for sleep, such as simple carbs and proteins. A bowl of cereal is a great option.
  • Clean sheets – Grandma always told us to change our bed sheets every week, but if you’re nibbling in bed, you may want to think about changing your sheets every few days. This will help eliminate the risk of bugs and waking up with a half-eaten potato chip stuck on your face.
  • End bedtime hunger – To avoid hunger before bedtime, consider healthy balanced meals with snacks throughout the day.

Follow the trail of crumbs to sleep

Need more suggestions for food options to choose before bed? Here are some great choices to bring to bed with you.

Foods that contain tryptophan, which is a natural sedative that gets converted into serotonin in your body. Translation – these foods encourage a calm and sleepy you.
• Whole grain bread
• Whole grain pasta
• Mangoes
• Bananas
• Grapes
• Pumpkin seeds

To encourage sleep, nosh on foods that are high in protein and healthy fat. This will help keep your blood sugar stable throughout the night.
• Turkey
• Apple & almond butter
• Pear, peanut butter and cinnamon
• Raw milk cheese with sliced cucumber
• Berries with plain yogurt
• Cottage cheese with peanut butter

Do you eat in bed? If so, what is your favorite guilty pleasure for a midnight snack?