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I have often heard the saying that one shouldn't eat a mountain of food because blood will go to the stomach and it'll be difficult to sleep well because the stomach can't rest at night.

I see that the blood goes to the stomach when you eat something to digest the food. Have any studies been done on whether it does actually affect the quality of sleeping?

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  • $\begingroup$ Who exactly is the 'you' here? I do (though I don't eat a mountain of food at any time); other people may or may not. Depends on the individual. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Commented May 8, 2015 at 5:50
  • $\begingroup$ I do not have any scientific information about your question but, I want to share my experience, last night I ate a cup of soup an hour before I slept and I had several nightmares during night and when I woke up, I did not felt good $\endgroup$ Commented May 8, 2015 at 7:53

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According to Crispim et al 2011, caloric intake late at night is correlated negatively with sleep quality:

We conclude that food intake during the nocturnal period is correlated with negative effects on the sleep quality of healthy individuals. Indeed, food intake near the sleeping period (dinner and late night snack) was negatively associated with sleep quality variables.

The paper is an interesting read. Here's their figure 1 which shows the correlation between sleep latency (how long it takes to fall asleep) and nocturnal caloric intake:

Figure 1

Thick line: men
Thin line: women

Basically, it shows that people who eat more at night take longer to fall asleep, and other results show that it's also correlated negatively with other sleep quality indicators.

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    $\begingroup$ Really interesting, I would never have expected that huge difference between men and women $\endgroup$
    – C_Z_
    Commented May 8, 2015 at 19:32

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