Proper nutrition isn’t just about what we eat – it’s also about when we eat. Eating late can disturb our sleep (and dreams) because the body is still working to digest food. To enjoy restful, restorative sleep, go to sleep on an empty stomach (which means no eating during the three hours before bedtime).

At night as we sleep, our bodies are fasting, recovering from the previous day. By the morning, the body needs to be replenished to begin the new day. Breakfast literally means, “break the fast.” Unfortunately, in our society breakfast is frequently neglected, and when we do eat breakfast it is often loaded with sugar, sodium, and saturated fat. Studies find those who eat a healthy breakfast experience longer attention spans, more efficient problem solving, increased verbal fluency, more positive attitudes, and better scholastic scores.

When we are running around, working, keeping busy and not eating regularly, what happens? Our blood sugar drops. This can be a problem because when we get too hungry we are more prone to binge eating. We are also less likely to eat healthy foods. Pulling into a drive-thru or picking up a snack hanging inside the vending machine doesn’t offer us the best choices, either.

Plan ahead if you have to be away from the table at mealtime. Keep some almonds, dried fruit, or granola in a purse, desk, or vehicle. These snacks can help you make healthier decisions about what, and when, you eat.