There’s a hell of a debate raging in the shadows of the night, and it’s got the health fanatics and the midnight snackers duking it out like two drunken brawlers in a desert bar.

We’re talking about whether or not you should eat right before hitting the sack or not.

In the red light illuminated corner, the Biohacking Bros, who would get taken out by a stiff breeze, swear up and down that you need to give your stomach a good three hours to digest before you even think about closing your eyes, or else your precious sleep will be shot to hell.

In the other corner, the “eat and pass out” crew. These are the folks who couldn’t care less about the so-called rules. They chow down and doze off without a care in the world.

So, who’s got it right, you ask?

Well, a study from 2021 (1) decided to dig into this this madness. They took healthy souls and fed ’em the same grub, but they played with the timing.

Some got their proverbial last supper five hours before bedtime, while others had it just one hour before hitting the hay.

What did they find?

“…Contrary to the existing literature, shifting dinner timing from 5 hours before sleep to 1 hour before sleep in healthy volunteers did not result in significant adverse changes in overnight sleep architecture. In fact, LD was associated with deeper sleep in the beginning of the night and lighter sleep in the latter part of the night in healthy volunteers.”

Surprise, surprise!

Contrary to what the GooRoos have been preaching, shifting dinner from five hours before bed to a mere one hour before didn’t mess with these folks’ sleep architecture all that much.

In fact, some of ’em had deeper sleep early on and lighter sleep later in the night.

Now, in my line of work, I’ve seen my fair share of sleepless nights, especially with my M3 online clients and the wild bunch over at Rapid Health Optimization where we use the Oura ring that helps me spy on people’s sleep patterns.

And you know what? Most of the time, I don’t reckon folks need to stress too much about when they last ate.

But let me be clear, these folks had their nutrition and exercise locked down tight. They ain’t the usual suspects you find out there, the ones skipping breakfast, scarfing down whatever they can grab at work, and then going for broke with a massive meal right before they pass out on the couch, watching Sports Center on an endless loop.

Plus In another study (2) in much larger (and more unhealthy subjects) mammals did show restricting food before the ole shut eye helped.

What’s the takeaway here you ask?

If you are healthy and pushing the performance envelope, tinker with the timing of your last meal if it tickles your fancy.

If you notice a positive change, fantastic.

But before you dive into this late-night culinary experiment, make darn sure you’ve got the basics nailed down with the kind of ferocity that’d make a rabid dog blush.

And remember, life’s a wild ride, so enjoy it – even if that means having a snack before bedtime.

Much love,
Dr Mike


1) Duan D, Gu C, Polotsky VY, Jun JC, Pham LV. Effects of Dinner Timing on Sleep Stage Distribution and EEG Power Spectrum in Healthy Volunteers. Nat Sci Sleep. 2021 May 14;13:601-612.

2) Simon SL, Blankenship J, Manoogian ENC, Panda S, Mashek DG, Chow LS. The impact of a self-selected time restricted eating intervention on eating patterns, sleep, and late-night eating in individuals with obesity. Front Nutr. 2022 Oct 21;9:1007824.