Overeating before bed, definition
Why not overeating before bed is important
Strategies for not eating too much before bed
How to make food less tasty and appealing
How to make eating less convenient
Alternative coping mechanisms for stress
Benefits of eating less before bed
By this point, everyone knows it’s not a good idea to eat a lot of food before bed. It leads to poor sleep, higher glycogen levels, and increased fat storage, or something like that. All of these are good reasons to not eat a lot of food before bed, but this is hard.
Eating ice cream before bed, for example, is common in the western world. It’s a way to reward oneself for yet another day of meaningless thought-work and successfully resisting the urge to end it all. Furthermore, eating a lot of food before bed might make you happier. Sugar and empty carbohydrates have been used to cope with crippling anxiety since the 1960s.
However, your lifestyle and fitness goals will suffer if you overeat before bed, so here’s how to avoid consuming excess calories in the last two-hours of your waking day.
What is not overeating before bed?
Not overeating before bed is avoiding excess calories, especially calories through sugar or fat, in the two-hours preceding slumber. Some “experts” say this is a good idea because your body functions better when sleeping if it doesn’t have to pass a bunch of foodstuffs through your intestines, too.
Also, when you’re sleeping, you aren’t moving, and that’s how you use up all the fuel you consume. If you don’t work off those calories, they’ll probably just end up in storage like your DVD collection, and like your DVD collection, once you put them in storage, it’s very hard to find any way to use them ever again. You’ll have to work very, very hard to use or get rid of your DVD collection, because DVD players are antiquated, and even charities won’t accept DVDs anymore. You could simply throw your DVDs away, but you can’t do that with bodily fat stores, so the analogy breaks down. You could also pay someone to take away your DVDs. This is akin to liposuction in our analogy, and this — like paying someone to take away your DVDs — is expensive and comes with inherent risks, since what kind of sociopath wants to buy old DVDs?
Why is it important to not overeat before bed?
The most important reason to avoid overeating before bed is because it will make sex difficult or unappealing. If you cannot adequately perform sex on your partner, they will find someone else to please them, sexually. Someone who doesn’t overeat before bed.
Overeating before bed is also not good because it could lead to excess weight gain, which will make life more difficult in many ways, including finding and having sex.
Eating a lot of food before bed also means you’re digesting while you sleep, which could lead to poor sleep quality and farting in bed, both leading causes of having less sex.
Strategies for not overeating before bed
It’s generally understood that life is an endless and exhausting workout on the hedonic treadmill. Eating copious amounts of delicious food before bed helps to numb the stressful days and fever-dream nights before, what will likely be, an early death at 54-years-old.
However, if you want to be physically fit enough to enjoy your 10-days of paid vacation each year and/or make frequent love — to your committed partner or numerous nameless strangers — you’ll need to learn ways of avoiding the late night munchies.
Strategies usually include:
- Making food seem less tasty
- Turning eating into an inconvenience
- Finding new coping mechanisms to deal with anxiety
This post will address various ways of achieving each of the above strategies and avoid eating right before bed.
Make food less tasty and appealing
Late night food is good because it’s tasty and comforting. If it doesn’t taste good, it won’t deliver the same hit of delight to your central nervous system, and you probably won’t want it anymore.
One good way of making food taste worse is to have the lingering scent and flavor of toothpaste in your mouth. Have you ever eaten an orange directly after brushing with mint toothpaste? It’s disgusting. Ditto milk.
Brushing your teeth earlier before bed helps in two ways. One, you will begin your nightly pre-bed routine earlier, which encourages earlier bedtimes and more sleep. Two, food will taste strange and you’ll have to brush your teeth again. A single obstacle can be overlooked, but with two hurdles to jump, the average night-eater might just go to bed. Plus, a fresh and clean mouth increases confidence when banging your sexual partner.
Food low in sugar, salt, and fat also tastes worse. If you grocery shop earlier in the day when you’re not hungry, you’ll be more in-control of your cravings. Basically, if you don’t have delicious food around, you’ll probably eat less of it. And, if you do still want to self medicate by eating at night, a whole bag of baby carrots won’t put you behind pace on your fitness journey. It might make you fart in bed though.
Turn eating into an inconvenience
Like we mentioned before, mouthwash, flossing, and brushing is already laborious enough. If you have to do these things twice, it’s a massive inconvenience. By brushing your teeth two hours before bed, you’ll curb the cravings (since food tastes all blegh after brushing) and avoid overeating.
Also, you can keep your delicious foods in a very hard-to-access location. The highest kitchen shelf, your basement storage unit, and a box buried in your backyard are all really hard to access on a moment’s notice. If you have to unlock your car or go outside to get the foods you crave, you’ll probably give up first.
Find new coping mechanisms for nightly stress
Stress eating is your way of handling life’s overwhelming and endless stream of anxieties. Is my career going where I want it to? Will I ever find meaningful friendships again? Will I die in obscurity?
But, there are other ways to distract from your bottomless thoughts before bed that don’t contribute to your daily caloric intake.
Watching YouTube videos in bed is unhealthy because it floods your eyeballs with blue light, engages your brain in a stress-inducing way, and it is highly addictive. However, it is also a zero-calorie activity and can prevent overeating before bed. Simply get ready for bed as you otherwise would, snuggle down, and grab your phone from the nightstand. It’s said that you shouldn’t eat for two-hours prior to falling asleep, so if you watch YouTube videos for an hour and a half, you probably won’t be physically able to fall asleep for another half-hour after that. Voila.
If you’re in a committed relationship already (or have an address book full of casual sexual partners), sex is also a prefferable bedtime activity to overeating. You’ll probably also feel much better, chemically speaking, afterwards as well. Even if you can’t find a partner, masturbation is a low sodium alternative to eating that you can reliably look forward to each and every night.
Some people find gentle, bedtime stretches and yoga to be a great stress reliever, a natural soporific, and a healthy alternative to bedtime eating. If you have the willpower to do this, excellent for you.
Marijuana is a slippery slope when it comes to bedtime snack replacements. Smoking is a zero calorie way to feel relaxed and sleepy before bed. If you smoke too long before bedtime, you could become munchier. Plus, drugs aren’t a good long term solution to anxiety. Some middle school health teachers call weed a “gateway drug” that leads to more powerful (and more dangerous) chemical dependencies.
Regardless of whether you choose any of these bulletproof strategies or your own, night time stress-coping mechanisms should be:
- Calorie free
- Sedative in nature
- Readily available
Eat less before bed
There’s no denying: life is stressful and it will never not be. As intelligent, rational, and mortal beings, we must find ways to look eternity in its twisted and terrifying face, then turn around and pretend like we hadn’t seen anything at all.
Eating a big snack before bed is one way to do this, but it also might prevent you from attaining other life goals, like looking better when naked. Other alternatives are possible, and hopefully one works well for you.