- According to dietitians, eating on a schedule will allow proper digestion of food, improves sleep quality and helps prevent weight gain.
- Researchers in Spain found a link between cancer risks and the timing of eating and sleeping.
- People who eat early and sleep 2 to 3 hours after the last food intake have a lower risk of breast and prostate cancers compared to those who ate later at night and went to bed right after.
The best time to eat your final meal of the day should not be less than 3 hours before bedtime. According to a study, if you eat before 9 pm and wait for two to three hours before hitting the sheets, you have a lower risk of contracting breast and prostate cancers. But if you eat too close to bedtime, say, after 10 pm, your risk to these two types of cancer is greatly increased.
The study by a research team at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) analyzed the link between cancer risks and the timing of eating and sleeping. It involved a randomly selected sample of 1,448 males, 621 of which had prostate cancer, and 2,526 females, of which 1,205 had breast cancer.
Results from the study, published in the International Journal of Cancer, showed a 20 percent lower risk to breast and prostate cancers for those who eat early and sleep 2 to 3 hours after the last food intake compared to those who ate later at night and went to bed right after.
Research professor and lead study author Manolis Kogevinas confirmed that the results from their study underline the importance of assessing biological rhythms in studies on diet and cancer.
“Our study concludes that adherence to daily patterns is associated with a lower risk of cancer,” Kogevinas said.
He also noted that once their findings are confirmed, these will be greatly considered in recommending cancer preventive and control measures. This is beneficial to people who have the culture of eating late suppers, such as those in southern Europe.
Although the results of the trials point to a connection between the timing of sleep affecting the body’s capacity to digest food, Dora Romaguera, an ISGlobal researcher, recommends that further studies in humans be made to have a better understanding of the reasons behind the results of the study.