How to Sleep After Eating Too Much

Thứ sáu - 26/04/2024 23:11
You've gotten into your PJs, turned out the lights, and are all ready for bed—but your stomach has different plans. General discomfort, acid reflux, and heartburn can be a frustrating obstacle after you've eaten a big dinner or late-night...
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You’ve gotten into your PJs, turned out the lights, and are all ready for bed—but your stomach has different plans. General discomfort, acid reflux, and heartburn can be a frustrating obstacle after you’ve eaten a big dinner or late-night snack. Don’t worry! With a few tips, tricks, and precautions, you can have a better shot at catching some zzzs.


Sleep on your left side.

  1. You’re less likely to have gastroesophageal reflux (GER) if you sleep on your left side.
    In a study, participants reclined on both their right and left sides. After reclining, individuals noticed that they had fewer GER issues when they were on their left side.[1]
    • Research shows that sleeping on your right side makes heartburn worse.[2]
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Lift up the head of your bed.

  1. Raising your bed by 6 in (15 cm) can prevent heartburn.
    [3] To do this, place foam blocks securely under your back bedposts to raise the head of your bed, or slip a foam wedge directly under your pillow.[4]

Treat an upset stomach with ginger.

  1. Ginger helps ease an upset stomach.
    Chew on some freshly grated ginger, or sip on a cup of ginger tea.[5] Studies show that ginger root can help get rid of nausea and vomiting—plus, it has anti-inflammatory and antiulcer benefits.[6]
    • Ginger chews, ginger candy, or ginger ale are also great options.
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Go for a walk before bed.

  1. Light exercise helps you feel a little more comfortable.
    You don’t have to do a full workout—a short, slow walk around your home might ease some discomfort as your food digests. A light round of stretching might also help you feel better.[7]
    • Pull your arm across your chest to do a basic shoulder stretch.[8]
    • Tilt your neck forward and a little to the right. Then, using your right hand, gently guide your head downward. Hold this position for 30 seconds to give yourself a nice neck stretch; then, switch sides.[9]

Slip into loose, comfortable pajamas.

  1. Don’t wear tight shirts or tops to bed.
    Tight clothing can put pressure against your stomach, which can lead to heartburn. Instead, pick out a loose pair of nightclothes that won’t constrict you in any way.[10]
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Optimize your sleeping area.

  1. Make your bedroom as dark and comfortable as possible.
    [11] Close all your curtains or blinds, so no light can peek through the windows.[12] Then, adjust the thermostat somewhere between 54 and 74 °F (12 and 23 °C), so you can sleep comfortably.[13]
    • According to expert research, making your bed each day can improve your sleep.

Take antacids.

  1. Antacids are a quick solution for heartburn.
    Take this over-the-counter medication as needed if you’re having a lot of trouble getting to sleep. However, don’t take it every night—too many magnesium-based antacids can lead to diarrhea, while too many aluminum- or calcium-based antacids may leave you constipated.[14]
    • Double-check the label to see what kind of antacid you have.
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Don’t drink alcohol or caffeinated drinks close to bedtime.

  1. Alcohol and caffeine prevent you from falling and staying asleep.
    [15] Caffeine is very stimulating, and can leave you feeling wired and awake. Alcohol might help you feel drowsy, but will prevent you from falling into a deep sleep.[16]

Space out your meals and bedtime by 3 hours.

  1. Your body needs time to digest after a meal or snack.
    When you go to sleep, your body automatically slows down digestion, which can lead to some discomfort if you just ate a big meal or snack. Instead, try to wait at least 3 hours before heading to bed—this will make it a lot easier for you to fall asleep.[17]
    • It can be tempting to take a nap right after enjoying a big meal or snack. Try to resist this urge—your GI tract will thank you for it![18]
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Quit smoking.

  1. Nicotine can lead to heartburn.
    Nicotine, a substantial ingredient in tobacco, causes the valve in between your stomach and esophagus to relax, which can lead to a bad case of heartburn. If you use tobacco products a lot, think about cutting back or quitting altogether.[19]
    • Support groups and counseling are great resources if you’re trying to quit smoking.

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