8

I often read or hear that eating one's dinner right before going to sleep is bad for health. How true is that?

  • 1
    How is that primarily opinion-based? – Franck Dernoncourt Apr 8 '15 at 2:48
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    Can you clarify what you mean by 'bad for health'? What are you concerned about? Quality of Sleep? All-cause mortality? – Tom Medley Apr 8 '15 at 7:58
  • Currently this is quite broad. – Tim Apr 8 '15 at 12:13
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    I have heard a few specific deleterious health effects (quality of sleep, weight gain, etc.) but I don't want to restrict the question to those specific points as I am interested to know all deleterious health effects, and I don't want to create one question for each potentially deleterious health effect. – Franck Dernoncourt Apr 8 '15 at 15:00
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If you eat a lot of food, your stomach will be full. And if you lie down immediately after that, your horizontal posture would put the food (and the acid) in such a way that it puts lot more pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter. If you are a patient of acid reflux disease (or if you have a comparitively weak sphincter and are pre-disposed to develop acid reflux disease), then doing this would greatly increase your chances of developing it. So lifestyle modifications doctors prescribe to patients of acid reflux disease is that:

  1. Eat in small quantities, and in multiple meals
  2. Give a time gap between dinner and sleep
  3. Elevate head end of your bed when you go to sleep.

Acid reflux during sleep is notorious because

  1. It damages the mucosa (from below upwards, all of it) making the patient susceptible to Barrett's oesophagus and Oesophageal Ca
  2. Acid refluxing into the mouth would mean poor oral hygiene, bad breath in the morning, slowly degrading tooth
  3. Aspiration of acid can damage the larynx and can cause Ca Larynx, and can even cause chemical pneumonitis.

References:

  1. What Causes Acid Reflux Disease?

  2. GERD Complications

  • 2
    +1 - Good points all. As with any other SE site, references are always much appreciated so that people can read more about something interesting you posted. – anongoodnurse Apr 8 '15 at 8:43
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    I downvoted this (otherwise good) answer because there are no references. We need to have some evidence for your claims (which I'm sure are true, but we need to know that). – Tim Apr 8 '15 at 12:15
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    I'll withhold my vote until references are appended. – JorgeArtware May 21 '15 at 0:00

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