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To sleep on a growling stomach vs. a full stomach

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Old 09-26-2008, 04:05 AM   #1
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Default To sleep on a growling stomach vs. a full stomach

I know ideally you should go to bed satisfied and having waited a few hours after your last snack/meal to sleep, but sometimes I find myself starving by the time I get to bed, even after an evening snack. I'll stay up a few hours later than the previous night (I work shift work so my sleeping pattern is always adjusting) or won't be able to get to sleep at all and I'll be lying there with my stomach growling. In such cases, is it better to sleep it off, or to go and grab another snack? I'm never sure because I know its not good to be starving but then it's not good to go to bed full because you can't exactly burn off the food!

And while I'm on the subject. I find myself napping after a hard shift at work some days. Will this impact my weight loss significantly?
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:30 AM   #2
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It's not good to do either. One of the bests snacks to have is a granny smith green apple with 1/2 cup of low fat or fat free cottage cheese before bed if you are still hungry. It won't fill you up too much and it will satisfy hunger pangs. The energy from this snack will burn steadily during the night so it won't be stored as fat.
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Old 09-26-2008, 05:35 AM   #3
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I think if you need a nap then you're clearly not getting enough sleep. The only way sleeping will affect your weight loss is if you're NOT getting enough it will probably result in you eating more.

Is there any way you could perhaps just have a smaller evening meal in order to include a small snack/supper before bed? It doesn't really matter what time you eat as long as it is included in your own personal plan.
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:09 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Spoz View Post
I think if you need a nap then you're clearly not getting enough sleep. The only way sleeping will affect your weight loss is if you're NOT getting enough it will probably result in you eating more.

Is there any way you could perhaps just have a smaller evening meal in order to include a small snack/supper before bed? It doesn't really matter what time you eat as long as it is included in your own personal plan.
Very true! When we don't get enough sleep our bodies compensate by eating more.
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:42 AM   #5
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I'm sure it's personal on how your body handles it..but I'm like you. If my stomach is growling and I'm really hungry, I can't sleep it off. I end up laying there for hours until I give in a get something to eat. I try for a light fruit snack or a granola bar.

I wouldn't worry too much about it effecting weight loss. Unless you're eating a full-blown meal and then going to bed directly afterwards, I doubt it'll have a bad effect. Plus, if you end up laying there all night hungry and worried that it'll be bad to get a small snack, then you'll end up being more tired the next day and, for me, that always translates into eating like crap for some reason.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:15 AM   #6
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If I ever feel hungry before bed I try to have a hot cup of tea, one that helps me relax for bed... chomomile, peppermint, lavendar etc. The warm tea in my stomach makes me feel full and satisfied, also helps me fall asleep.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:31 AM   #7
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Pretty much every night almost at bed time I'll have a protein shake and a piece of fruit. It keeps me from raiding the kitchen an hour later, so it definitely helps with my weight loss. Overall though, sleep is important. I've never been a great sleeper, and I recognize that when I haven't slept well that I'm more hungry. If the naps keep you from sleeping well when you go to bed, try and avoid them. If you're still getting 7-8 hours when you sleep, I wouldn't worry about the naps too much.

The one thing that has helped with my sleep quality though is melatonin. I take a 3mg tablet of it every night (about an hour before bed). What I used to do was fall asleep and wake up a couple of hours in. I don't do that since taking the melatonin.

Some information on it from the Mayo Clinic:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mel...ient-melatonin
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Old 09-26-2008, 12:58 PM   #8
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I'm never sure because I know its not good to be starving but then it's not good to go to bed full
There's a middle ground there, you know. It doesn't have to be all or nothing!

How about if you feel starving before you go to bed, you have a light snack to take the edge off? A 1/2 an apple, a glass of low fat milk, a bit of yogurt, whatever would be a good light snack that you could nibble on and then go brush your teeth so you're not tempted to eat more.

Also napping is not necessarily a sign that you're not getting enough sleep. Studies have shown that napping is a fairly normal thing for most mammals and that many people are more productive after a short nap in the afternoon/evenings. And there are entire cultures where an afternoon nap/siesta/downtime is normal and accepted - to the point that businesses close during this time and then open up again in the evenings until later at night.

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Old 09-26-2008, 01:10 PM   #9
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I agree with all of the "middle ground" school of thought. A quick snack like a piece of fruit or something to that likes. Even the hot tea idea. Putting something on your stomach without stuffing yourself won't affect you all that much in all honesty, I feel as though I sleep better when I'm not starving, because the hunger pangs wake me up in the middle of the night.
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