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The Pros and Cons of Sleeping on an Empty Stomach

Everyone dreams of having an enjoyable and restful sleep, but this is not always the case. Many things keep people awake, but the food they eat is one of the leading and most controversial ones.

Whereas some think that sleeping on a full stomach assures you of a restful sleep for others, an empty one is the best. The relationship between eating at night and sleep has been a subject of debate for many years. But, to help you make a better decision here are some advantages and disadvantages of sleeping on an empty stomach that you should know.

Also Read: Benefits of Deep Breathing Before Sleep

Sleeping on an Empty Stomach Pros

It is important to know that bodies are not the same and so how yours reacts to an empty stomach as you sleep might be different from others. However, if you go to bed without eating anything you should expect to experience the following advantages.

#1 Some types of Food will Keep You Awake

It is a fact that certain kinds of food will keep you awake, but most people tend to ignore this. The worst thing about this is that most of these foods are an essential part of dinner and it is almost impossible to avoid eating them. Foods rich in refined sugar and those that are high in protein make a significant portion of most people’s dinner, and this is bad for sleep. However, sleeping on an empty stomach means that you will not eat them and so they will not affect your sleep.

#2 Your Body Will not Focus on Digestion
Morning Person

Going to bed on a full stomach means that your body has to focus more attention to digestion. Digestion is a very slow process that takes hours, and this means that you will not be able to fall into a deep state of sleep in all that time. Going to bed on an empty stomach has a huge advantage because there is nothing to digest and so all the energy and attention is diverted to sleep, and so you are more likely to fall asleep faster on an empty stomach than a full one.

#3 You will Not Need to Go to the Bathroom

For most people, a meal is not complete without a glass of wine or water as they aid in digestions. Although it is healthy to drink water or wine after a meal, this means that you will have to keep waking up at night to go to the bathroom. Every time you interrupt your sleep to go to the bathroom, you will reduce its quality, and hence you end up getting fragmented and low-quality rest. If you do not take dinner, you will not need to drink anything. And so you can keep your fluid consumption to the early part of the day so that you will not have to wake up at night.

#4 No Acid Effects

Sleeping on an empty stomach means that the stomach will not have to produce large amounts of acid for digestion. Although the stomach can handle the acid production that comes with a full stomach your esophagus cannot and so eating a lot of food before bed means that some gas will escape. These gasses are what cause acid reflux whose main characteristic is a burning pain in the chest.

Sleep Disorders

Most people do not like to sleep without eating some food because they think that sleeping on an empty stomach is a grave injustice for the body. However, apart from it not being just for your body, there are also a few other disadvantages that come with an empty stomach.

Sleeping on an Empty Stomach Cons

#1 Waking Up at Night

It is almost unmanageable for most people to go the entire night on an empty stomach. Sleeping for seven to eight hours without eating anything is a tall order, and in most cases, you will have to wake up at some point to eat something. Waking up in the middle of the night means that you will have to disrupt your sleep. Sleep disruption will, in turn, mean that you will not get enough and restorative sleep. Apart from this, you will also want to eat something sugary or fried leftovers because they taste good and boost your energy levels almost instantly.

#2 Overeating in the Morning

Sleeping on an empty stomach is a huge mistake, and this is more so if you are on a weight loss program. First, you will not be able to fall asleep, and you will keep tossing and turning in bed as you try to fall asleep. You will try changing your mattress to make it comfortable or use a memory foam pillow which is very useful in helping you sleep well, but all this might all be in vain. And if you somehow sleep chances are that the fridge will be your first stop in the morning and this means that you will overeat to compensate the body for the hunger it had to withstand.

#3 Growling Stomach

Even if you can sleep without eating anything, the funny noises that the stomach makes as it complains due to the hunger will wake you up. You can be able to ignore the fact that you went to bed without eating anything but a grumbling stomach is hard to assume. And if you are hungry enough the noise will not go away, and this means that you will also not be able to sleep until you eat something.

#4 You will Not Build Muscles

An empty stomach will lead to sleep loss and this, in turn, may result in a muscle breakdown. And so anybody trying to build some muscles should never go to bed hungry as this will make things hard for him. According to different research findings, an empty stomach reduces the body's ability to transform protein to muscles. Also, if you do not have enough and proper nutrients, the body will have to break down your muscles to get the energy that it needs to function correctly.


Some people can sleep without eating anything but others cannot and so it is important to know what kind of person you are. If you can't go to bed without feeding, make sure that you take your dinner early and make it light and healthy. Eating early in the evening gives the body enough time to digest so that you will be able to fall asleep quick and sleep for long enough.

About the Author Jane Collins

Jane Collins is a blogger at G9SleepTight. She loves sharing many useful tips and solutions to help you have a good night's sleep. Follow her on Twitter, @g9sleeptight

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