Someone who eats heavy, sugary or spicy foods should wait 4 to 6 hours before going to sleep if they suffer from insomnia, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Individuals who are concerned about putting on weight can go to sleep at any time.
People who suffer with poor sleep patterns may find that waiting 4 to 6 hours after eating a heavy, sugary or spicy meal helps them sleep better. In addition, they may want to consider avoiding alcohol and caffeine during this period.
Some people believe that eating too close to bedtime makes weight loss harder. However, there is no evidence to support this, WebMD states. As weight gain does not work around a 24-hour clock, it is okay to eat close to bedtime. How much someone takes in over a period versus how much energy they expend determines weight loss and gain instead.
People who do want to eat close to bedtime may find it is easier to eat a light snack. Eating too much just before sleeping can cause bloated and uncomfortable feelings which, in turn, makes it harder to sleep. In addition, it can exacerbate the symptoms of conditions like acid reflux, which worsens when someone lies down after eating a heavy meal.