The Dangers of Eating Late at Night

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Pinetree
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Re: The Dangers of Eating Late at Night

Post by Pinetree » Thu Dec 31, 2015 5:26 pm

- for lions, ask a lion doctor (but consider that a lion starts to get old at 10-15 years and will live up to 20)

- for babies, I assume their diet is designed to be very easy to digest, also their bodies repair very quickly

- for warriors, it doesn't matter, because warriors are expandable, cannon fodder and are expected to have short lives

- some people have very strong digestion, that is true, and according to Ayurveda traditional medicine, it is better to have a strong digestion and a bad diet or poor eating habits than a poor digestion and good diet

However, a poor diet will often weaken the digestive system over time.

Personally, if I eat before sleep, sleeping slows down my digestion a lot.

For you, if you really have no problems, at least try to eat less at night, maybe 70% to 80% of the quantity you are used to.

lostitude
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Re: The Dangers of Eating Late at Night

Post by lostitude » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:24 pm

Alex123 wrote:Hello all,

I have a question: What about in nature? A lion can eat a heavy meal and then take a nap. A baby can eat and then go to sleep.

I have no problem eating >pound of meat, lots of vegetables and then go to bed 30-60 minutes later. I have never encountered any problem with sleeping on full stomach.

There is also a warrior diet (I am not following it) where one eats very little (if any) during the day, and feasts at night.

Any comments?


Happy New Year!!!
I think in nature, animals are not supposed to live their lives in the best of health until death. I think (but it's more of a personal assumption than anything) that their mission is to live until they can mate and have an offspring. Once that is done...

A funny fact is how the life expectancy of cats has almost doubled in the past few years thanks to the new types of cat food now available. It seems to have optimised their health and longevity, something that nature hadn't bothered to do in hundreds of thousands of years.

Based on that, I often tell myself that it's a bit silly to always go back to 'natural' diets and to how people used to eat 10 thousand years ago, because again, their diet enabled them to live long enough and fit enough to have kids, not to live well past the age of 70 which has become our main concern nowadays.

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Alex123
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Re: The Dangers of Eating Late at Night

Post by Alex123 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:01 pm

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
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

Pinetree
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Re: The Dangers of Eating Late at Night

Post by Pinetree » Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:25 am

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.
You are right on the topic that alertness inhibits digestion, but wrong on the conclusion that we should sleep to prevent alertness. I don't object against "rest", but depends on what you mean by it.

However, looking at your post as a whole, there is a misunderstanding about how PNS and SNS work together. If we reduce the function of PNS and SNS to 2 slogans "rest and digest" and "fight-or-flight", it is understandable that one could reach to that conclusion.

Short answer is that after eating, best thing to do is walking meditation, at least 20-30 minutes.
You might say that this goes against the mainstream.
Well ... this point of view goes against everything else, except itself :P
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.
You are not describing nature, just a way of organizing human activity.

If we are Buddhists, we don't hunt during the day and maybe also don't party at night.

And the fact that you like it, poses some danger to objectivity.

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Alex123
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Re: The Dangers of Eating Late at Night

Post by Alex123 » Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:01 pm

Pinetree wrote: You are right on the topic that alertness inhibits digestion, but wrong on the conclusion that we should sleep to prevent alertness. I don't object against "rest", but depends on what you mean by it.
The more activity (physical or mental) that you do, diverts the blood from the stomach and other relevant organs for digestion, and goes to the muscles or the brain.

If we reduce the function of PNS and SNS to 2 slogans "rest and digest" and "fight-or-flight", it is understandable that one could reach to that conclusion.
I try to be as brief and concise as possible.

The sympathetic nervous system goes into action to prepare the organism for physical or mental activity. When the organism faces a major stressor, it is the sympathetic nervous system that makes the fight-or-flight response. It dilates the bronchi and the pupils, accelerates heart rate and respiration, and increases perspiration and arterial blood pressure, but reduces digestive activity. Two neurotransmitters are primarily associated with this system: epinephrine and norepinephrine.

Parasympathetic nervous system causes a general slowdown in the body’s functions in order to conserve energy. Whatever was dilated, accelerated, or increased by the sympathetic nervous system is contracted, decelerated, or decreased by the parasympathetic nervous system. The only things that the parasympathetic nervous system augments are digestive functions and sexual appetite.
link
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

Pinetree
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Re: The Dangers of Eating Late at Night

Post by Pinetree » Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:16 pm

The more activity (physical or mental) that you do, diverts the blood from the stomach and other relevant organs for digestion, and goes to the muscles or the brain.
Like I said, I don't object to rest.

Umm ... and you don't need the blood from your whole body to go to your stomach for proper digestion.

The light walking I suggested will improve digestion movements, such as your stomach or intestines and help with blood flow in your whole body, including the digestive system.

Also, forgot to mention, heavy dining is an important cause for obesity in many people. Especially if the following day won't involve much physical exercise, chance is most goes to "long term storage".
Last edited by Pinetree on Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Pinetree
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Re: The Dangers of Eating Late at Night

Post by Pinetree » Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:18 pm

lostitude wrote:
Pinetree wrote:Eating late and/or large quantities repeatedly is a cause for acid reflux to be developed over many years.

So if somebody feels they don't have a problem with this now, hopefully you will remember this forum message 15 years later.
Is this your assumption or a scientifically validated fact? Because it is the first time I read this, and after a little search I haven't been able to find anything to support it.
Something I just happened to bump into:
Therefore, during sleep the esophagus becomes more vulnerable to gastric acid by the lower rate of swallows, decreased salivary volume, and less peristalsis leading to increased gastric acid–mucosal contact time.
https://www.dovepress.com/circadian-rhy ... rticle-CPT" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

To my understanding, this refers to healthy people, even if later in the article, reflux is mentioned.

Vinnana
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Re: The Dangers of Eating Late at Night

Post by Vinnana » Fri Jan 08, 2016 6:01 pm

robertk wrote:it's good but hard to do.

Anyway I only had a salad for a late night snack last night.
It had a lot of tomatoes and a few croutons sprinkled with cheese..

Actually it was really one big crouton covered with tomato sauce and dripping in cheese.


Fine it was a pizza.
I ate pizza.
That really made me laugh :)
I am changing my eating pattern, the main meal has usually been around 6 or 7pm, but am switching to main meal around 1 or 2pm and just toast with spread at about 5pm. Hopefully I will sleep better and not continue waking at around 2am and unable to get off again.

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Alex123
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Re: The Dangers of Eating Late at Night

Post by Alex123 » Sat Jan 09, 2016 2:45 pm

Pinetree wrote: Umm ... and you don't need the blood from your whole body to go to your stomach for proper digestion.
If blood from yout whole body goes to the stomach, then one will get into a coma.
The light walking I suggested will improve digestion movements, such as your stomach or intestines and help with blood flow in your whole body, including the digestive system.
I agree about that. In fact I do prefer to lightly walk a bit after eating.
Pinetree wrote: Also, forgot to mention, heavy dining is an important cause for obesity in many people. Especially if the following day won't involve much physical exercise, chance is most goes to "long term storage".
It depends on:
a) quality of food
b) macros
c) total calories

d) Exercise

I lift heavy weights 3x per week. So I burn quite a bit of calories afterwards.
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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