Does Eating Before Sleeping Cause Weight Gain?

Dieting and Diet Plans

Ian C. Langtree - Content Writer/Editor for Disabled World
Published: 2011/08/08 - Updated: 2019/03/12
Contents: Summary - Introduction - Main - Related

Synopsis: Information on whether eating before bed leads to weight gain or reduces the quality and length of your sleep time.


It has been stated eating just before going to bed makes you fat because the body doesn't need the energy while you're asleep.

Main Digest

While no conclusive studies prove that eating before bed leads to weight gain, eating too much food, or eating spicy foods, fatty foods and caffeine one to three hours before bedtime can reduce the quality and length of your sleep, making you fatigued, sluggish and generally not fun to be around the next day. Eating fatty foods before bed will slow down the emptying of the stomach, exacerbating indigestion, while spicy foods can lead to heartburn and indigestion.

Eating food before bed can contribute to weight gain, because you're consuming calories, some of which may not be as healthy as the choices you made earlier in the day. But does eating at that time of day mean you will gain MORE weight than if you were to eat the same snack mid day? No.

Continued below image.
Deep fried French fries.
Deep fried French fries.

There is a correlation between night eating, low self-esteem, reduced daytime hunger, and weight loss among people who are already obese or prone to obesity, however, this correlation does not necessarily imply causation (i.e., the act of eating a late meal does not necessarily provoke these conditions). It may simply be the case that the types of foods that people prefer to eat late at night are less healthy.

NES (Night Eating Syndrome) is an eating disorder where the person consumes at least half of their calories for the day after dinner (mostly carbs and starchy food). This disorder does lead to weight gain.

You should wake up refreshed in the morning without the use of an alarm clock and feel energetic all day.

Tips for a Good Night's Sleep

Stay away from big meals at night:

Try to make dinnertime earlier in the evening, and avoid heavy, rich foods within two hours of bed. Fatty foods take a lot of work for your stomach to digest and may keep you up. Also be cautious when it comes to spicy or acidic foods in the evening, as they can cause stomach trouble and heartburn.

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Cite This Page (APA): Langtree, I. C. (2011, August 8 - Last revised: 2019, March 12). Does Eating Before Sleeping Cause Weight Gain?. Disabled World. Retrieved July 17, 2024 from

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