When it comes to bedtime snacks, many of us hardly resist the temptation of munching anything that keeps our mouths moving while watching movies or working late in the night.
For many people, eating before bed has become an evening ritual. While the consequences of late-night snacking glares at us, we often believe that an early morning workout can shake off the extra weight.
That does not mean we should not eat the typical dinner meal, but the snacking addiction is what people argue about whether it is good or bad for the body. The argument is controversial because we have two schools of thought on this matter. Some people believe that a bedtime snack aids a weight loss diet and improves sleep. Another group believes that eating before bed leads to weight gain.
Today, we present some best practices and helpful tricks for your nighttime meals, including the pros and cons of eating before bed.
Pros of Eating Before Bed
While eating before bed can affect some people, it can have a beneficial effect on others. Some experts argue that it may stop nighttime eating and support weight loss. For people who consume more calories after dinner, snacking can help them from overeating. The body requires energy while you sleep. When you consume a protein and carbs-rich snack, it helps the body to burn fat during your sleeping hours. It also keeps the blood sugar stable and lets you sleep better.
Fall asleep faster & sleep better
When you eat before sleeping, it makes your stomach feel full without making you think of indulging in your favorite meals. This helps you fall asleep faster and lets you have a good sleep. You do not have to wake up in the middle of the night ransacking the kitchen for food. However, we are not encouraging you to consume unhealthy meals full of calories.
Some people get relieved eating food at odd hours. Eating before meals can curb their craving for food because the stomach feels full. When you eat well at night, you do not wake up in the morning hungry and tired.
Stabilized morning blood sugar
Blood sugar is required for your daily activities. People who experience disturbed sleep or low blood sugar during the night may take a snack before bedtime. This helps in improving the energy source of the body and keeps them relaxed through the night. When you eat before sleeping, the liver finds it easier to produce enough blood sugar for your day.
SEE ALSO: Mindful Eating and Intuitive Eating: What’s the Difference?
Cons of Eating Before Bed
Metabolism slows down at night
This study shows that the body’s metabolism is slower while we sleep. That means the body burns whatever we eat before sleeping more slowly. This could be true of carbohydrates. The body finds it a little difficult burning off carbs while we sleep. Food like pizza and pasta are not the right choice.
Eating before we sleep can lead to weight gain, especially when consuming too many calories while watching television or working. Some studies show that snacking after dinner, eating late, or a combination of both can have adverse effects in women. Women tend to experience large waist circumferences, weight gain, impaired blood pressure, increased cholesterol levels, and impaired blood glucose when they eat before bedtime.
Heartburn and indigestion
Heartburn and indigestion can occur in specific individuals when they eat late or before sleeping. They can suffer from Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which occurs when the stomach acid is regurgitated into the throat. GERD symptoms include heartburn, dental erosions, difficulty swallowing, chronic cough, a lump in the throat, and laryngitis. Eating before sleeping can make this condition worse.
The foods consumed before your bedtime can disrupt the way you sleep. Foods containing chocolate or caffeine can keep you awake at night. Thus, you should be mindful of what you eat if you cannot resist the temptation of snacking before you sleep.
A major disadvantage of late-night snacking is when you make it a habit or consuming high-fat and junk food, especially in front of the TV. People who eat watching television tend to consume more food or binge eat mindlessly.
Eating before bedtime can affect our health if it becomes a habit. Health risks include heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
While we debate whether it is good to eat before bedtime, we discourage people from sleeping hungry. The body requires energy, and skipping meals can affect the body’s functionality. With less energy, it becomes harder for the body to burn calories. If you want to eat late, you can eat healthy snacks like apples and peanut butter, cheese and cracks, and others. However, the best time to snack is three hours before you hit the bed.