One of the first things I was told by a macrobiotic counselor was to stop eating 3 hours before going to bed. In fact he marked triple asterix’s next to it. It is a small seemingly simple part of 7 steps to strengthening health and one that I have had trouble with lately. This week this is going to be the area I focus on improving. I plan to pick one area of the practice a week to work on.
Stopping eating three hours before going to bed is important because it leaves the digestive system empty while sleeping. This gives your body the optimum environment to clean and repair itself while you are sleeping. This will also give your liver and kidneys a rest.
Denny Waxman in his book “The Great Life Diet” states that
The body cannot perform the miraculous nocturnal task of rejuvenation unless the stomach is empty. Nor can we receive celestial energy at night unless we are empty inside.
Being conscious that this would be my focus this week, I have been aware to make sure that I get enough satisfaction from my food earlier in the day so I am not left hungry in the evening. I have been front loading my food somewhat, a larger breakfast, a lighter lunch, and an earlier full dinner seems to work the best.
It hasn’t always worked out. Today we took an impromptu trip to the beach around 4pm, so dinner prep and eating turned out to be quite late. I will still make the three hours, but only just. The family time together overshadowed the need to be hyper vigilant of my eating. It is always a balance.
With an empty stomach you will be helping yourself sleep more deeply and for a shorter time. Hard to say I have noticed this, but I definitely wake up feeling cleaner inside and ready to start refueling.
If you feel tired and sluggish when you wake up, it might be worthwhile trying to remember when you last ate before going to bed. Having food left in your stomach to digest means you will have insulin circulating. Too much insulin causes the sluggish feeling, because you wake with symptoms of hypoglycemia. This problem goes back to making sure you have eaten enough and received enough nourishment earlier in the day.
Stopping eating 3 hours before going to sleep is a hard habit to break. For recovering health it is essential. I am working on it and hopeful I can give my body the best chance it can get.
photo credit: ShaZ Ni [pretty busy T_T]