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A Simple Change You Can Make for Better Digestion and Good Night’s Sleep

A Simple Change You Can Make for Better Digestion and Good Night's Sleep

When I was growing up in Japan, my mum would usually have dinner ready for us by 5pm at the latest.

When I stayed with my friends, I remember their family dinner time was usually around 8pm and thought that my family was just strange and not normal (?) to have dinner so early!

I spent my 20s eating late dinners until I discovered Ayurveda and learned about Ayurveda body clock or circadian rhythm.

To live a balanced happier life, Ayurveda tells us to tune our bodies into its natural rhythm. Ayurveda breaks the day into six four-hour zones. 

The middle of the day from 10 am to 2 pm belongs to Pitta, the hot, sharp, and fiery “king of digestion”. This is the best time of the day to eat your biggest meal, as the pitta or digestive fire (agni) is the strongest in the middle of the day.

Aim to have dinner by 7pm to give enough time for it to digest before you go to bed. This either falls within the late period Vata from 2pm until 6pm or early evening Kapha time from 6pm – 10pm.

You can read more about Ayurveda and the circadian rhythm in my previous blog here.

So hopefully you are starting to understand the concept of natural circadian rhythms and why we want to eat an early & light dinner to be able to sleep better, and therefore have more energy the next day!

How to start:

Today, schedule your dinner to be 15 minutes earlier than your normal dinner time. Then day by day gradually bring your dinner time back by 15 minutes from your normal dinner time till your dinner time gets to 7pm or earlier.

Try and make your lunch the main meal of the day, so in the evening you are just topping up. This can be difficult for many of us used to a large meal in the evening. A good way of doing this is by having something warm and filling for lunch rather than just a sandwich or your usual go-to lunchtime snack.

Here are some more ideas to help you get started!

Go for a one pot dish such as soup and stew. They are easy and fast to prepare. However, avoid having a salad as raw vegetables are hard to digest and they are best to eat at midday with your lunch when the digestive fire is at its strongest.

Whilst fresh is best, this is the real world so when you can’t, try batch cooking on your day off / weekend. Start batch cooking and store in the fridge so when you come home from work, you can just heat it up and eat.

Make it simple but yummy. Start experimenting and find out what works best for you.

Planning ahead makes this much easier – so every weekend plan your meal plan for the week, buy what you need and stick to it!

P.S. If you are curious to discover what food and lifestyle choices and Yoga style to practice for your specific mind-body type, the first step is to take my Dosha quiz and discover your Ayurvedic Dosha – your mind-body type!

You will then receive some practical tips & recommendation on which foods, lifestyle habits and Yoga style are best for your specific Dosha.