It is important to follow a healthy diet to stay fit, but you may not be getting maximum health benefits after all the efforts you’re putting in. This could be due to things you do in your daily routine that affects your digestion. One such mistake is to lie down right after you eat.
Is lying down after eating bad for your health?
Yes, it is. The food that you eat can only be digested properly when you are sitting upright. You should only lie down after at least 2 hours after eating, as lying down immediately after a meal can lead to indigestion. You habit of lying down soon after eating can lead to several health problems such as:
Your esophagus – the tube that connects your mouth and stomach – has a valve that prevents the food from going upwards in your digestive system. When you lie down after a full meal, the valve has a more difficult time to keep the food down. This can cause your stomach content to overflow and cause acid reflux.
Heartburn is a condition where your stomach has too much acid. These acids go from your stomach up to your throat and lead to a burning sensation in the chest or sometimes in your throat. This often accompanied by burping.
Another problem can come from eating snack late at night and then go to sleep. Eating late at night has other dangers, including the impaired judgment and weakened willpower than can come with being tired. When you’re hungry at midnight, taking the time to make a salad may not be as appealing as reaching for the ice cream or finishing the leftover pizza. Making unhealthy decisions right before going to sleep means that you have no chance to burn off those extra calories.
Going to sleep right after a meal can increase your chances of having a stroke. The results of a study conducted University of Ioannina, Greece, found that behavioral sleep immediately after eating can increase the risk of having a stroke. A study involving 500 healthy people found that respondents who had the longest interval between eating and sleeping have the lowest risk for stroke.
Theories differ as to why, but they include the idea that acid reflux is more likely to cause sleep apnea, which is linked to strokes. Another theory is that the act of digestion and its effects on your blood pressure, blood-sugar levels and cholesterol count may affect your likelihood of having a stroke. More studies are needed to confirm this.
What other things to avoid after sleeping
Lying down after eating is bad for your health, but there are some other things you need to avoid after eating.
When you sleep, your body slows down. Thus, the food in your stomach will take longer to digest and upset your digestive system. As mentioned already, lying on your back or side after eating will make it easier for your stomach acid to move back up your esophagus. Moreover, if you sleep after a heavy meal, you will wake up bloated. Just be sure to give your body enough time to digest your food before slipping between the sheets.
Strenuous exercise makes it difficult for your body to digest your food because it uses some of the body’s resources required for proper digestion. That’s why you’re more likely to experience issues like cramps, nausea, or even diarrhea when working out after eating.
Yes, eating fruit is healthy, but not after your meal. This is mainly because fruit digests the fastest as compared to other types of food, so it is more likely to sit on top of your meal and even ferment there. This will create gas and even lead to weight gain. Eat fruit at least 3-4 hours after your last meal to ensure you get maximum benefits without having to worry about bloating, gas, and other discomforts.
Drinking too much water
You may not notice any issues if you sip a little water with your meals, but you should avoid gulping down a big glass after eating your meals. It dilutes the digestive juices and makes it difficult for your stomach to digest food. Similarly, drinking ice cold water after eating can slow down your stomach. Instead, drink hot herbal tea if you want to drink something after your meal – still, you need to avoid drinking too much of liquids after eating.
Taking a shower
You may have already developed a habit of taking a shower after eating. Change it because it will eventually lead to certain digestive system problems. The reason is that your body temperature increases when you take a shower. This makes your blood to move towards the surface of your skin, the feet, and the hands. It means it will no longer be available for digestion. Your digestive system will slow down considerably, causing gas, bloating, and several other issues.
Loosening the belt after meals
If you have to loosen your belt after a meal, it usually means you have eaten a little too much to sit comfortably on your belt in its previous position. Once you have loosened it up, you may again feel comfortable enough to continue eating, which will lead to obesity. It is, therefore, a good idea to eat as much as you can without adjusting your belt.
Walking immediately after meals
Just like lying down after eating, walking immediately after meals is bad. You may end up dealing with issues like indigestion and acid reflux. It is important to take some rest in an upright position and then walk to help stay fit. You can prevent acid reflux for walking about 10 minutes at least half an hour after your meal. This will also improve your metabolism and give your muscles a stretch that will prevent fat deposition in your body.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.