Eating too often. Not too much (which is also a problem, and may be as relevant to sleep quality, especially in the extremely obese via sleep apnea).
Eating too often. The point is that one can eat the right amount of food, but eating too often will still lead to unexpected problems.
Many Americans eat 3 meals a day and some eat 3 meals plus snacks.
This is too often – it does not allow time for important repair processes, particularly those dependent on autophagy, which is stimulated by glucagon, and inhibited by insulin (and hence by every episode of feeding).
My guess is 1-2 meals per day is optimal for overall health and for optimal repair processing.
There are other problems that arise from eating too often. For example, because those who eat 3 meals plus snacks suffer the inevitable post-prandial slump, they consume more caffeinated beverages than they would if they ate just once per day, and this has the effect of reducing overall quantity and quality of sleep.
The Fast-5 diet format recommended by Dr. Bert Herring suggests having one meal a day of about 5 hour duration just before bedtime, followed by a 19 hour fast. As long as there is no reflux, this seems to me to be the best time for the single meal (and I am trying it out now). Because no caffeinated beverages need be consumed to combat the slump just before retiring, less caffeine is needed during the productive waking hours (I’m trying 100 mg every few hours in the AM – 400 mg MAX), meaning that all other things being equal, sleep will tend to be of better quality and longer in duration.
I wonder if there are data to support this. Probably very little, since the Fast-5 is not a particularly popular diet format – and who would study such a topic? I would – if only I could.