Taken from Houghtaling's Handbook
How to Sleep.
It is a common expression that to take food immediately before going to bed and to sleep is unwise. Such a suggestion is answered by a reminder that the instinct of animals prompts them to sleep as soon as they have eaten; and in summer an after-dinner nap, especially when that meal is taken midday, is a luxury indulged in by many. Neither darkness nor season of the year alter the conditions. If the ordinary hour of the evening meal is six or seven o'clock, and the morning meal at seven or eight o'clock, an interval of 12 hours or more elapses without food, and for the persons whose nutrition is at fault this is altogether too long a period for fasting. That such an interval without food is permitted explains many a restless night, and much of the head and backache, and the languid, half-rested condition of rising, which is accompanied by no appetite for breakfast. This meal itself often dissipates these sensations. It is therefore desirable, if not essential, when nutriment is to be crowded, that the last thing before going to bed should be the taking of food. Sleeplessness is often cause by starvation, and a tumbler of milk, if drank in the middle of the night, will often put people to sleep when hypnotics would fail of their purpose. Food before rising is an equally important expedient. It supplies strength for bathing and dressing, laborious and wearisome tasks for the underfed, and is a better morning "pick-me-up" than any hackneyed "tonic."