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Fall Back into Earlier Evening Meals


Eating earlier may decrease risk of certain cancers


It’s the time of year to roll back the clock and take full advantage of an extra hour of sleep!  Make the most of your body feeling an hour ahead, by having an early dinner now that daylight savings has ended. Research published in the International Journal of Cancer, suggests that having an evening meal at least two hours before going to sleep results in lower risk of prostate or breast cancer when compared to those who eat closer to bedtime.


The study, out of the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, focused on these two cancers because they are the most strongly associated with nightshift work and disruption of circadian rhythm (CR). The National Sleep Foundation defines CR as a 24-hour internal clock, commonly referred to as our sleep/wake cycle.  Over 2,000 men and women were interviewed on type and timing of meals as well as sleep schedule.  They found that people who immediately went to sleep after eating had a greater risk of prostate or breast cancer, while those who waited 2 hours to tuck in enjoyed a 20% reduced risk.  If the old rule of no swimming for 1 hour after eating is ringing a bell, and perhaps the timing is too much to keep track of, researchers also noted a “magic” hour.  They found that people who had dinner before 9pm enjoyed similar reduced risk as those who waited 2 hours after eating to sleep.


There is so much power in routine!  When you reinforce positive habits, such as going to bed and waking up at the same time your CR is at its best and a sure sign is that you’re feeling well rested.  There’s more to gain from a solid sleep routine too!  Sleep and metabolism go hand in hand, in other words when you get enough sleep, you feel better, perform better and make better food choices, which helps you sleep better. And the cycle repeats.


Published November 1, 2023

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