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Early light dinner and good night sleep are the mantras of wellness!

Early light dinner and good night sleep are the mantras of wellness!

“Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,” said Benjamin Franklin long ago.  Pluto on the other hand had said, “Much sleep is not required by nature, either for our souls or bodies, or for the actions in which they are concerned.” However, we all know we should be getting to sleep earlier than we do. (Skimping on sleep, not only makes you feel sluggish the next day, it can also increase your risk for heart disease, depression and high blood pressure—just to name a few risk factors.) Now recent studies are showing that we would also benefit from turning the clock forward when it comes to dinner. Of course, you save money by going for the early-bird special; but here are many more reasons why an early dinner is a good idea.

People who eat late at night tend to eat more. In addition, studies show that late-night noshing increases triglyceride levels, a type of fat found in your blood. When you eat, your body converts any calories it doesn’t use right away into triglycerides; and high levels may increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. A heavy and late dinner is not just a bad practice, but detrimental to health! When boozing and snacking are combined or eating with watching TV, it is bound to be over eating and consequent health problems

Here are a few benefits of eating light and early, say about 7PM.
1.    Eating early gives plenty of time for the food to digest well and a light stomach results in a sound sleep.

  1. Give your food enough time to digest before sleeping and you’ll avoid constipation and grumbling noises from your stomach during the day.

  2. One gets good 2-3 hours before bedtime where one can do things that one really enjoys. Like writing, reading, planning etc.

  3. If you eat late, the food is not utilized for energy. It instead gets converted to fat stores, resulting in weight gain. So light early dinner prevents obesity. Researchers believe that the longer lapse between meals allows the body to process the food more efficiently. They noticed that even mice fed a high-fat diet gained less weight when they fasted for 16 hours than those who eat more frequently.

  4. Those who eat late, suffer from digestive problems like acidity, heart burn, cough, sleep apnea and bloating because the time gap between dinner and sleep reduces. So, when you lie down to go to sleep, the stomach acid gets refluxed to the esophagus, causing uneasiness and other problems.

  5. Early dinner gives your brain and other organs of the body time to focus on re-energizing themselves for the next day instead of working on digestion, absorption and nutrient extraction, forced on them by having late dinner.

  6. Your biological clock of the body is programmed based on sunrise and sunset pattern. When you allow your body’s systems to work the way they are programmed, you’ll hardly feel lethargic and tired the next day. According to the National Institutes of Health, late-night meals can cause indigestion that interferes with sleep. The same goes for alcohol. While a nightcap might help you relax before bed and initially fall asleep, drinking as little as two alcoholic drinks actually robs you of deep sleep and REM sleep, which means you wake up more frequently. Alcohol-related sleep disturbances are worse for women, say researchers at the University of Michigan.


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