Eating Ramen Before Bed: 6 Pros, 7 Cons & How It Can Impact Your Sleep!

Man hand holding chopsticks of instant noodles in wood bowl with smoke rising in the home.

Last Updated on February 28, 2023 by theworldofsleepstaff

Ramen, the traditional Japanese dish, is gaining popularity around the world. After all, it’s quick and easy to cook, making it an ideal meal for busy nights or late-night snacking.

And many people even swear by a bowl of ramen before bedtime as the perfect way to satisfy their hunger after a long day. But is eating ramen before bed a good idea?

Well the quick answer, and the one you may have already expected, is eating ramen late at night isn’t the best diet choice. However there are a few pros to it as well…

That’s why right here we’ll take a look at the pros and cons so you can decide for yourself. We also provide some healthier alternatives too. Let’s get started!

Note: This content is not intended to replace medical advice or treatment. Please consult a healthcare professional for any health-related issues.

Ramen noodles in soy sauce flavored soup.

Is Ramen A Good Late Night Snack?

The truth is, ramen noodles are generally very high in carbohydrates, making them an unhealthy snack if eaten too close to bedtime.

In addition, overeating these noodles can lead to a sudden spike in blood sugar, followed by an energy crash shortly after. This kind of energy crash could make it difficult to get sound sleep.

The broth and other ingredients often added to ramen noodles may also contribute to the unhealthy nature of eating them late at night.

Many types of broth contain high amounts of sodium and fat, which can disrupt your sleep cycle.

In addition, the added meats, vegetables, and spices may also be too spicy or high in calories to eat before bed.

However some people believe that the carbohydrates in ramen can tire you and make you sleepy, but little scientific evidence supports this.

Fact is, eating a big meal before bed could actually upset your sleep pattern rather than help it. Eating late at night also increases your risk of developing acid reflux or heartburn due to a full stomach.

Sleeping Problem. Overhead above top view of stressed African American guy lying alone in bed touching grabbing head feeling depressed, suffering from insomnia or mental problems after breakup

Pros Of Eating Ramen Before Bed

Ramen is an easy meal to prepare and can be done quickly. This makes it ideal for late-night cravings when you want to avoid going through the trouble of making something more complicated. In detail, here are the advantages:

1. Quick to Cook

Ramen takes only minutes to prepare and cook, so you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen.

2. Nutritious

Despite its reputation as a junk food, ramen can be pretty nutritious depending on what toppings or ingredients you add.

In addition, you can boost the nutritional value of your bowl by adding vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

3. Satisfying

The combination of noodles and broth can be exceptionally comforting and filling. This makes it an ideal meal for hunger pangs when you need some sustenance but want something manageable and balanced.

4. Versatile

You can customize your bowl of ramen to suit your tastes and dietary needs. There are countless ways to prepare it so you won’t get bored with the same dish every night.

5. Inexpensive

Ramen is relatively inexpensive, especially compared to other late-night meals. You can make a large bowl of ramen for just a few dollars.

6. Delicious

Finally, ramen is simply delicious. There’s a reason it has become so popular around the world!

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Cons Of Eating Ramen Before Bed

Although there are some benefits to eating ramen before bed, it’s essential to be aware of the potential drawbacks. Here are a few:

1. High Sodium Content

Ramen noodles are high in sodium, and eating them right before sleep increases your risk for water retention and weight gain.

But the big problem is that the broth can be even higher in sodium – some varieties contain up to 2000mg of salt per serving. You can easily exceed your recommended daily allowance with a bowl of ramen for dinner.

2. Potentially Unhealthy Ingredients

Many store-bought ramen packages contain high amounts of saturated fat, MSG, and other unhealthy additives that can interfere with sleep.

But what’s worse is that many of these ingredients are hidden in the packaging – so you may only find out what kind of chemicals and preservatives are in your ramen after you’ve eaten it.

3. Digestive Issues

Eating late at night can be hard on your digestive system, and ramen is no exception. It can cause heartburn, bloating, and other uncomfortable sleep symptoms.

With ramen, it’s essential to be mindful of portion size. Overeating can make your stomach ache and lead to an uncomfortable night.

man holding his stomach

4. Lack of Essential Nutrients

Ramen provides different essential vitamins and minerals than a more balanced meal. Eating it for dinner can leave you less than satisfied, and without the nutrition your body needs.

Relying on ramen for dinner regularly is not recommended, as it can lead to nutrient deficiencies over time.

5. Interruption of Sleep

Eating a big bowl of ramen right before going to bed can interfere with your sleep pattern, making it harder for you to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.

Having a light snack is best if you must eat late at night. This will be easier on your digestive system and won’t disrupt your sleep as much.

6. Addiction

Unfortunately, eating ramen for dinner can become a habit and lead to addiction. If you crave it late at night regularly, it may be time to step back and re-evaluate your diet.

7. Weight Gain

Eating late at night can lead to weight gain, and ramen is no exception. The calories and sodium content in a bowl of ramen may be more than you need right before bedtime.

Diet experts recommend having a light snack with protein and fibre to keep you full until morning. This will help prevent late-night cravings and weight gain.

Overweight woman with tape is measuring fat on belly

What Are Healthier Alternatives To Eating Ramen Before Bed?

1. A Piece of Fruit and Some Nuts

Fruit contains vitamins, minerals, and fibre to help you feel full and satisfied. Pair it with a handful of nuts for added protein and healthy fats to keep you powered until morning.

2. Hummus on Whole-Grain Crackers or Veggies

Hummus is an excellent source of plant-based protein and fibre, plus it’s easy to make your own. Spread some on crackers or your favourite veggies for a tasty snack that won’t disrupt your sleep.

3. Greek Yogurt with Berries

Greek yoghurt provides good calcium, protein, and probiotics to help you stay full until morning. Then, add some berries for a sweet and nutritious snack that won’t leave you feeling weighed down.

4. Peanut Butter on Whole-Grain Toast

Peanut butter is a classic snack loaded with fibre and healthy fats. Spread it on whole-grain toast for a filling late-night snack that won’t upset your stomach or disrupt your sleep.

5. A Bowl of Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a nutritious and filling choice for late-night snacking – as we’ve written about before. It’s rich in fibre and whole grains, which can help you feel full longer.

You can also mix in some protein, such as nuts or seeds, plus healthy fats like peanut butter or flaxseed to boost your oatmeal.

young guy is smiling while eating porridge with berries in kitchen at home


How much ramen should you eat before bed?

When eating ramen before bed, it’s essential to be mindful of portion size. Overeating can make your stomach-ache and lead to an uncomfortable night. Most people recommend a serving size of 1-2 cups for a single meal.

Why can’t I sleep after eating ramen?

Although there is no definitive answer to this question, it is thought that the high sodium content found in ramen can lead to dehydration and an inability to sleep. Dehydration can interfere with regular sleep/wake cycles and reduce the quality of your sleep.

Additionally, the MSG (monosodium glutamate) commonly used as a flavouring can increase alertness and make it harder to drift off. Therefore, it is recommended that you avoid eating ramen before bedtime.

Does ramen digest quickly?

No, ramen does not digest quickly. It takes your body several hours to process and break down the carbs found in the noodles. Therefore, eating ramen before bedtime can lead to indigestion and potentially interfere with quality sleep.

How many hours does it take to digest ramen?

On average, it takes your body around 4-5 hours to digest ramen. Eating ramen too close to bedtime can cause indigestion and discomfort at night, making it difficult to get a restful sleep.

In conclusion, eating ramen before bed can be beneficial in certain circumstances. But it’s essential to be aware of the potential drawbacks to make the best decision for your health and well-being. A light snack with protein and fibre is a better option if you’re looking to satisfy hunger without compromising your sleep.