Oatmeal Before Bed – Benefits and Side Effects

We discuss the benefits and possible side effects of eating oatmeal before you go to sleep.
Romeo Vitelli
Romeo Vitelli
Expert Writer
Received his doctorate in Psychology in 1987, spent fifteen years as a staff psychologist in Millbrook Correctional Centre. In 2003 went into full-time private practice. read more
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Last updated: August 27, 2023
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Having sufficient sleep is essential for good health. In the fight against insomnia, several foods and drinks are recommended, and this is because they have hormones and chemicals that regulate sleep. They have high levels of antioxidants and nutrients that are proven to help you fall asleep faster or stay asleep longer. One of them is oatmeal.

Oatmeal, like rice, is high in carbs but has a little more fiber. Oatmeal before bed has also proven to induce sleep. Furthermore, oats are a well-known source of melatonin.

Oatmeal Nutritional Facts

  • Eating oats is a great start for your heart. According to studies, oatmeal is associated with a 7% reduction in LDL cholesterol
  • It reduces blood sugar levels and provides antioxidants
  • It helps you maintain a healthy weight by making you feel full
  • The problem of constipation is alleviated
  • Scratching and skin irritation are reduced
  • It reduces your chances of colon cancer
  • Oats contain a lot of compounds like manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, vitamins, etc.

Should or Shouldn’t You Eat Oatmeal Before Bed?

Oats are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. They are a gluten-free whole grain that’s packed with essential vitamins, fiber, minerals, and antioxidants.

The time oatmeal ought to be eaten depends on the benefit you want to derive from it. Oat is to be eaten in the morning if you want to lose weight as it helps you burn calories and reduce cholesterol. It is also good when eaten before bed as it helps to build your body and ensures better sleep.

Are There Benefits of Eating Oatmeal Before Bed?

A Harvard Trusted Source Oats | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Oats are available in a variety of forms, based on their processing. Learn about the different types, oats and health, and how to cook with them. www.hsph.harvard.edu study elaborates on the fact that oats contain several components that have been proposed to exert health benefits. Oats are a pack of vitamins, fiber, minerals, and antioxidants. So, they offer a lot of benefits. Amongst them are:

●     Better Digestion

When oats are soaked for a long time before eating, the starch naturally breaks down, allowing more nutrients to be absorbed which also permits easier digestion.

Thus, eating oat before bed allows you to sleep comfortably with no stomach issues and it also prevents you from waking up in the night because of indigestion.

●     Better Sleep

If you include a cup of oats in your diet before bed, it will help you relax by releasing serotonin. Because of its calcium, potassium, and magnesium levels, a hearty cup of oats can help you sleep better. Oats are also high in melatonin, a hormone that aids in sleep, including this source of complex carbs in your nighttime routine, which will help you sleep.

You can also have a better sleep by preventing any possible disturbance. For instance, masks can be used by people who struggle to sleep due to ambient light creeping into their homes from streetlights or using a white noise machine that produces an amount of noise that will balance the environmental noise.

●     Healthy Nutrients

Oatmeal Before Bed – Benefits and Side Effects

Oats provide a well-balanced nutritional composition. They’re high in carbs and fiber, they have a higher protein and fat content than most grains and they are very rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients help in bodybuilding. It’s an equal part healthy and tasty meal.

●     Blood Sugar and Heart Health Benefits

Type 2 diabetes is a prevalent condition marked by abnormally high blood sugar levels. It is usually caused by a reduction in insulin sensitivity. Oats also help with insulin sensitivity. The capacity of beta-glucan to produce a thick gel that delays stomach emptying and glucose absorption into the blood is primarily responsible for these effects.

Numerous researches have connected fiber and its putative impact on cardiovascular health via improving blood lipid levels and postprandial effects on blood sugar.

●     Decrease in the Risk of Childhood asthma

The most frequent chronic condition among children is asthma. Although, people negate the introduction of solid food to children as it enhances the risk of acquiring asthma and other allergy illnesses. However, research suggests that this isn’t true for all foods. Oats, for example, are beneficial if introduced early. Feeding oats to infants before the age of six months reduces the incidence of childhood asthma.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Oats, like any other food we consume, might cause certain negative effects, which is why it is critical to be aware of their potential drawbacks before beginning to consume them.

●     Stomach Swelling

An abrupt change in your diet, such as going from eating little fiber to eating a lot of oats without a seamless transition, can cause mild stomach bloating. In this situation, the swelling might induce abdominal cramps and gas, which can cause pain and discomfort.

To avoid this side effect, you should reduce the number of oats you consume and gradually increase it until your reason behind its consumption is achieved.

●     Accumulation of Gas

Fiber, despite not being completely digested, is an important component of the digestive process. It reaches the large intestine, notably the colon, after passing through the stomach and small intestine, where bacteria break down the fiber.

This creates carbon dioxide and hydrogen, with methane and sulphide. When these gases are held in the stomach, they build up and cause bloating. In this condition, stomach discomfort is likely to occur due to the pressure of the gas mass on the stomach and intestine walls.

When Is the Best Time to Eat Oatmeal for Weight Loss?

Oatmeal can help you lose weight on its own, and it keeps you satisfied for longer than other foods. The fiber component of oatmeal can help to support the digestive system.

To benefit from the oatmeal feature of weight loss, it has to be taken in the morning. Oats take a long time to digest in the body, so they start burning calories, thus reducing the cholesterol levels during the day. Its flavor and nutritious content can be improved by adding fruit or other ingredients.

Oatmeal is a low-cost option that will be simpler to stick to than a system that costs money to participate in or requires expensive specific meals to lose weight.

When Is the Best Time to Eat Oatmeal for Bodybuilding?

Eating before your bedtime could help in building your body as your metabolism slows down as you go asleep. This increases the chances of the calories being stored as fat.

It’s ideal to take sleep-inducing meals and beverages 2–3 hours before bedtime to get the most out of them. Eating right before bedtime might create stomach problems, such as acid reflux.

Recipes – How to Make Oatmeal

Learning how to prepare oatmeal is a good idea because it’s a vital kitchen fundamental. Fortunately, it is also one of the simplest meals to make. All it takes is a little patience and creativity.

Before Cooking, Soak Your Oats in Milk Or Yogurt

Soaking your oats with protein gives them a rich and creamy texture that you wouldn’t get from water. However, if you prefer crunchy shapes, there’s no need to soak them for a long time; just a few minutes will suffice, or you can cook them right away. According to BBC Trusted Source www.bbc.co.uk , the most common porridge oats are rolled, rather than crushed during processing.

Add The Oat at The Appropriate Time

Although many people can prepare oats, not everyone can prepare a simple and flawless oat porridge. If you prefer creamy oatmeal, add your soaked oatmeal after the water has reached a simmering temperature. This way, you won’t have as many bubbles.

Add a Pinch of Salt

Salt is a crucial ingredient in oats; add a bit throughout the soaking process or when stirring the oat, but never at the end to avoid a salty oat. The salt gives the oats a nutty flavor and sweetness. Don’t forget to add a few drops of vanilla, honey, or cinnamon to enhance the flavor of the oats.

Cook Your Oat Until It’s Thick

Oatmeal Before Bed – Benefits and Side Effects

Though it is a quick meal, simmer your oats a little longer until they are thickened. You must cook them until they absorb all of the cooking liquid for a smooth texture and softness. This should take about 4 to 5 minutes.

After a Few Seconds, Stir the Oat Porridge

Oatmeal should be soft and creamy, and continuous stirring will aid to release more starch, giving the oat a creamier texture.

Cook on a Low Heat Setting

Because oats tend to spill over when it’s bubbling, you’ll need to cook it in a medium or wide pot. Keep an eye on the oat while it boils, as well as the flame, to avoid splattering.

Add Some Extra Ingredients

Adding a few toppings like nuts, butter, eggs, or vegetables is a great way to have a rich and balanced breakfast. Fruits like strawberries, cherries, and bananas are fantastic for turning a white oat into a colossal dinner.

What Can You Add to Oatmeal?

Oatmeal Before Bed – Benefits and Side Effects

These are the other things that can be added to your oatmeal to make it more nutritious.

  • Milk
  • Grains like millet, amaranth, and buckwheat
  • Egg
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Fresh fruits like bananas, blackberries, and blueberries
  • Dried fruits like cherries and coconut
  • Sweet things like chocolate chips, honey, and caramel
  • Yogurt
  • Salt
  • Vegetables
  • Peanut butter
  • Tiger nuts

Final Thoughts

Although oat is widely recognized as a breakfast meal, it is not bad to be eaten before bed as it provides a lot of benefits that most people are not aware of. The benefits of eating oatmeal before bed cannot be overemphasized. For a warm and satisfying meal before bed, try eating a small quantity of oat to make you sleep.

Whether you decide to eat Old Fashioned Rolled or Lower Sugar Variety Oatmeal before bed, make sure it’s cooked with extra ingredients to add more nutrients to it.


Oats | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Oats are available in a variety of forms, based on their processing. Learn about the different types, oats and health, and how to cook with them.
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