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Does digestion occur while sleeping?

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Dear Kathrynne,

 

I was wondering what happens to the digestion process and absorption while we sleep. Does it continue but at a slower rate? What would happen if I drank a glass of soy protein right before going to bed? Meat protein? Would I get the same protein benefits if I had taken the protein during the day? Whether liquid or solid, would the protein be absorbed at the same rate? Thank you.

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Dear Friend,

Yes, food in the stomach continues to be pressed and ground and mixed with acids, and delivered into the small intestine. The bolus in the small intestine is further broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream. This process of metabolism includes medications taken at bedtime, so any levodopa taken will also be broken down, absorbed into the bloodstream, and delivered to the brain.

 

Any soy or meat protein will be metabolized just as it would if eaten during the day, and you’ll get the same nutritional benefits. Liquids, however, are metabolized somewhat faster, because the stomach doesn’t have to grind them up.

 

The rate is not dependent upon waking and sleeping, but upon our own individual metabolism, which can vary from one person to another – and can also be affected by PD.

 

.

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