Does Eating Before Bed Contribute To SIBO?

Our body is an amazing thing and it seems that our gut is even more amazing. It really is like a little ecosystem all on it’s own, an environment right inside of our belly. There’s a lot of talk about SIBO or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The more that is discovered and learned about the condition the more it becomes easier to understand and treat. The question of the day is, does eating before bed contribute to SIBO and we’re here to answer that question for you. YES, it can contribute to small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. Read on to find out how!

How It Works

The human body requires at least three hours after eating before you should lay down. Consider this, it takes at least 20-minutes for the brain to register that the stomach is full before it proceeds to the next step. The stomach takes around 3 full hours to empty its contents. So, not only does eating before bed cause weight gain, weird dreams, indigestion, but it can also be contributing to the bacterial overgrowth.

Sitting upright while eating and after eating allows gravity to help the digestion process making foods pass through the gut more easily. This is why it’s important to sit or stand during and after eating. Often times people think lying down helps digestion but that is totally incorrect. Lying down after eating, especially a meal, can result in undigested food particles hanging around places when they should’ve already passed through. The undigested food particles end up sitting in the gut adding fuel to the fire. 

SIBO is the overgrowth of bacteria in the intestine. Although beneficial bacteria is necessary and important for the gut, when there are too many or if it passes into areas it isn’t supposed to it spells trouble for the rest of our body, not just the gut. Having the undigested food particles remaining in the gut leads to further overgrowth, as well as, the production of toxins inside of your body. Symptoms or effects aren’t always felt right away so it could be a while before you notice anything is going on.


  • If you crave something to munch before your normal resting time try to eat something that is light and easily digested.
  • Make it a snack not a whole meal. The more food there is the longer digestion takes.
  • Avoid laying down even if you’re not going to bed. Remain in a sitting or standing position until the digestion process is done or at least almost done.
  • Pay attention to any undesirable symptoms that affect your gut before your time of rest. Avoid any of the foods that cause them in order to avoid any further gut health issues.

Natural SIBO treatment is available and it’s much safer than trying to use pharmaceutical medications because they cause further irritation and issues. SIBO antibiotics will be necessary but you’re in luck because there are plenty of natural antibiotics available to treat the condition. A healthy gut is a happy gut! If you have gut health issues be mindful about what you eat and how you eat.