Are you struggling to wake up in the morning? Are you finding it difficult to fall asleep during the night? Then, it’s time to think about your dinner time. Many of us love to eat dinner at 9 PM, watching our favorite TV show. It is fun and entertaining, but the truth is, it is not conducive for health, energy, and deep sleep. Then, what is the right time to eat dinner? What are the benefits we gain by changing our dinner time? In this blog, I will take you through these aspects of dinner time. Let’s get started.
8 Problems with late dinner
Many of us are working late, and by the time we eat dinner, it is 9 PM or even beyond it. In the olden days, people ate around Sunset time and slept early. But such a lifestyle is not possible today unless we consciously work towards creating it. So, many of us eat dinner late. What are the problems of having a late dinner?
- Poor digestion: Our body is designed to work in tune with Sunrise and Sunset. The digestion ability of the body slows down after Sunset time. So, when we eat late, the food is not digested well, and this leads to digestion issues.
- Poor sleep quality: Digestion of the food takes effort, and it is one of the major activities in the body. So, when we eat late, we find it difficult to sleep early since the body is going through a major activity. Eating late also leads to poor sleep quality, where our sleep is disturbed and shallow.
- Foggy mornings: We all would love to wake up fresh in the morning but eating late does not give adequate rest to the body. So, our mornings become foggy, and we don’t feel like waking up.
- Weakened immunity: The body can work on self-repair, immunity only when it is free from other activities like digestion. But when we are eating late, we are burdening the body with work and not giving it a chance to work on self-repair and immunity. This leads to poor immunity eventually.
- Lifestyle diseases: One of the major factors causing lifestyle diseases like diabetes, high BP, etc., is late dinner. Eating late increase the chances of getting such lifestyle diseases.
- Low energy levels: When the food is not digested well and the body does not go through proper self-repair, we find our energy levels to be low during the daytime. We feel sleepy, lethargic, and dull.
- Weight gain: Late dinner also leads to weight gain and makes healthy weight an impossible dream,
- Irritation: With all the above problems, we tend to get easily irritated, and patience levels go down.
So, these are some problems with having a late dinner.
What is the right time for the last meal of the day?
It is best to eat the last meal of the day before Sunset time. Doing this will give 3 to 4 hours of time for the body to work on digestion. This time may not work for many of us due to work commitments etc. At least, we can work on closing the dinner by 7 PM.
10 benefits of early dinner
So, what do we gain by early dinner? Below are some benefits.
- Better sleep quality: Early dinner improves sleep quality. You will have a deep and refreshing sleep. You will actually sleep like a baby.
- Fresh mornings: When you wake up in the morning, there will be no more foggy mornings. You will wake up fresh, with an alert mind. You will feel good and energetic.
- Better immunity: Your immunity will be strengthened. One of the easiest ways to boost immunity is to have an early dinner.
- Improved digestion: Having an early dinner improves digestion and nutrient absorption.
- Weight loss: Many studies have shown that early dinner plays an important role in weight loss. So, if you want to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight, then make early dinner a priority.
- High energy levels: When the food is digested well and you get good quality sleep, you will automatically have high energy levels.
- Eating early dinner lowers the chances of getting lifestyle diseases.
- Improved health: Your overall health improves, and you start feeling younger, fitter, and lighter.
- Increased productivity: Your productivity at work and home goes up, and you will be accomplishing a lot more in less time.
- Better mood: With all the above benefits, you will have more patience, a better mood, and you enjoy life.
These are the benefits of having an early dinner.
How to make the shift?
So, how to make the shift to early dinner? Any change is uncomfortable in the beginning, and it needs some patience. So, start with small steps. Don’t suddenly change your dinner time from 9 PM to 6 PM. Sudden changes are not sustainable in many cases. Here are some tips to make the shift.
- Gradually, reduce the dinner time every week by 10 minutes.
- Include your family in this change.
- Try to follow the early dinner rule at least 5 out of 7 days a week.
- On some days, in spite of your best attempt, you may not be able to have early dinner. It’s ok. But get back to early dinner as soon as possible.
- Try to close the dinner maximum by 7 PM.
These are some tips that help you make the shift.
I eat my dinner before 6 PM, and I can vouch for all the benefits mentioned above. It keeps me light, healthy and productive. I recommend you to give it a try for 3 months and see its effectiveness. Once you experience the benefits of early dinner, you will never eat late. Modern science, Ayurveda, Naturopathy – all recommend early dinner. So, are you ready to change your dinner time?