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Study Finds No Association Between Eating Before Sleeping and Blood Glucose Levels

Study Finds No Association Between Eating Before Sleeping and Blood Glucose Levels

It is often recommended to avoid snacking or eating a meal shortly before bedtime to help control blood glucose levels. However, a new study has found that leaving a 2-hour gap between the last meal and bedtime is not associated with a difference in blood glucose levels in healthy adults.

For this study, the researchers examined the health check data of 1,573 healthy, middle-aged and older Japanese adults with no underlying conditions associated with diabetes. The health checks were performed in 2012, 2013, and 2014. The researchers looked at eating habits, physical activity levels, weight gain since the age of 20, eating pace, amount of alcohol consumed daily, and smoking status. They found that 16.1% of the men in the study and 7.5% of the women fell asleep within 2 hours after dinner.

When the researchers looked at HbA1c levels over time, they found no association between increased levels and going to sleep less than 2 hours after the last meal. However, they did find that weight, blood pressure, triglyceride levels, physical activity, smoking, and drinking were more strongly associated with changes in HbA1c levels. HbA1c is a measure of average blood glucose over the long term, and considered a an indicator of future health risks.

Based on their findings, the researchers recommend that people focus on maintaining a healthy BMI and abstaining from smoking and consuming alcohol.

Researchers from Okayama University in Japan conducted the study. It was published on January 21, 2019, in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health.
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