How much does the time you eat affect your sleep?

To celebrate the renewal of our partnership with the British Athletes Commission (BAC), we put athletes’ questions on sleep in a Q&A to Mammoth ambassador and renowned Lecturer in Sleep Medicine at the University of Oxford, Dr Nicola Barclay. 

BAC: How much does the time you eat affect your sleep

NB: Yeah, the timing of your meals is really important. There’s some research to suggest that consistently having an early breakfast is associated with early break times when the other side of the day eating a late meal close to bedtime, delayed sleep onset. It’s no surprise, really, that there is an association between later sleep times and later meal times. Eating meals close to bedtime increases your core body temperature, where we already know that getting to sleep is easier when the brain and body is starting to cool.

It’s also important to consider what you eat before bed. There has been some research which has shown that eating carbohydrates that have a high glycemic index close to bedtime, so say around one hour prior to bedtime can delay sleep onset. Whereas if you have a high GI carbohydrate rich meal, say, four hours before bedtime, sleep onset is faster. So really, the bottom line is, is that you should have your last meal of the day around four hours prior to bed and ensure that your high GI foods are consumed early.

At Mammoth we know good night’s sleep starts with the right mattress. Explore our selection of premium mattresses right here on our site, or explore our blog for more updates about the latest sleep news and advice.