Tempting as it may look, the couch is not your friend after you eat a meal. People who lie down with a full stomach are asking for trouble. Wait at least an hour before you lie down. In fact, it's best if you can wait two to three hours -- the time it takes the stomach to empty -- after a meal to go to bed. While you're waiting, stay upright.. A stomach ballooned by too much food and drink may partly empty in the wrong direction, so pass on seconds as well.