Do those mischievous hunger pangs knock at your stomach just before you’re about to sleep? Know that consuming snacks late at night can negatively impact your health which is why late-night snacking is best avoided.
Why Is Late Night Snacking Bad For Health?
The human body follows a circadian rhythm. This 24-hour cycle influences our energy, sleep, metabolism, etc. Therefore, we are set to sleep at night, wake in the morning, and eat in the day. However, when we expose our eyes to light at night or eat junk food, the natural circadian rhythm is disrupted. This impacts several bodily functions adversely.
Negative Side Effects Of Late-Night Snacking
There are several adverse side effects on your health caused simply by eating when its too late. Here are 5 ways late-night snacking impacts your health:
1 – Makes Losing Weight Harder
It doesn’t only matter how much you eat or what you eat but also when you eat. Late-night snacking is not recommended because it can not only make you put on more pounds but if you are trying to lose weight, it can interfere with that too. This is because calories consumed at night are likely to be accumulated as fats.
2 – Slows Down Metabolic Health
Even if you do not care about weight loss because you are fit as it is, know that late-night snacking is bad for the body’s metabolic process as well. Studies show that eating when its late at night can decrease resting-energy use, carb metabolism, and glucose tolerance. It can also increase cortisol markers.
3 – Bad For Brain Health
Research shows that late-night snacking also adversely influences the brain’s learning, and memorizing skills. It is linked to reduced concentration too. A study published in 2015 showed that eating habits that didn’t align with the body’s internal timeclock, shifted the molecular clock of the hippocampus entirely affecting one’s ability to learn and remember.
4 – Increases Acid Reflux Risk
Eating late before bedtime can cause nighttime acid reflux. This happens because the stomach faces trouble with digesting food. This exerts pressure on the food metabolizing process and loosens the LES which enables undigested food and acids to revisit the esophagus. Therefore, it is recommended to eat at least two hours before sleeping.
How To Reduce Late Night Snacking?
Here are some ways you can minimize your habit of indulging in snacks late at night:
- Eat your dinner by 7:30 and makes sure it is a healthy one with carbs and proteins
- Do not let junk food sit in your home. Sometimes we just munch on junk food because we’re bored, stressed or lonely not because we’re hungry
- You can eat healthy snacks an hour before bedtime if you sleep late
- Drink loads of water to stay hydrated. Water is a natural appetite suppressant