photo by Alexander Mils
Late night movies and snacks are probably one of the worlds’ favorite activities, but eating late at night can actually be detrimental to your health. Now, that isn’t to say exactly that eating late at night will cause health problems or make you gain weight, rather the timings of your meals and the portions matter more in the evening. As your body needs time to digest, your last full meal should be consumed no less than 2 hours before sleeping. Anything after 7pm should be considered a light snack.
Recent studies at the University of Pennsylvania suggest that your body can process food differently at different times of the day. For reasons which are still unknown to researchers, the body seems to be more likely to store fat or energy when you’re trying to sleep. This is because the physical act of eating puts the body into a state of alert, forcing the digestive system to actively work.
In this sense, people can often find it difficult to fall asleep after eating late, because their bodies are actively working to digest food. Alternatively, the body can also sort of give up in an attempt to let you sleep, which is when food is stored as fat in the body.
Studies have also shown that when eating, certain stress hormones are released into the body and these hormones in turn raise blood pressure. Having an increased blood pressure before bedtime can lead to serious cardiovascular issues.
So the next time you’re craving a midnight snack, try your best to keep your snacks in small portions and be sure what you’re eating is healthy. If you absolutely need to eat, don’t starve yourself, but try an apple or carrot sticks in stead. Your food choices late at night can make a world of difference in how you feel during the day.