Humans have autonomic nervous system (ANS) which functions outside of conscious control. It contains two branches with opposite functions: sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).
SNS is characterized as "fight-or-flight
". It burns fat, makes us alert, and mobilizes the body for action. Most of our time we are supposed to spend with SNS activated.
PNS is characterized as "rest-and-digest
". It is generally the total opposite of the above (SNS). It is activated when, guess by its characteristic, we rest (sleep) and digest (eat) food. Sleeping and digestion goes together, this is why when you eat a big meal you want to sleep.
The more (within reason, of course
) one spends time in SNS mode, in the better shape and health one will be.
This fits perfectly with nature. During the day we hunt, during the evening (night) there is a big feast after which we sleep. I really like this approach. During days when I don't exercise, I eat only in the evening. One large meal, after which I want to sleep and soon go to bed 30-60 minutes later.
You might say that this goes against the mainstream. But where does mainstream diet advice lead us? The majority of people (especially in America and even normally thin people from other countries
) who follow mainstream advice ("“Eat Breakfast Like a King, Lunch Like a Prince, and Dinner Like a Pauper
”"), eat lots of carbs, avoid fat (without which food tastes horrible so simple sugars are required to make it taste good, but this influences insulin sensitivity
), seem to get fatter and fatter and rates of type 2 diabetes go up...
if I eat before sleep, sleeping slows down my digestion a lot.
This is totally wrong. The ONLY time when food is digested well is when you REST and PNS system activated.
If you are active (not resting or not sleeping
) SNS kicks in and INHIBITS digestion. No wonder why heart burn medications are so widespread.
With best wishes, Alex