Do you get hungry in the middle of the night? Midnight snacking is a common habit and unfortunately, a bad one.
The duration between dinner and breakfast may be long, but it is ideal to avoid eating in between. Midnight snacking leaves you reaching into your fridge and looking for a fast fix for your hunger - often this can mean eating leftovers or reaching for that sugary dessert that’s lying around.
A new study has found links between midnight snacking, poor sleep and obesity. The study, conducted at the University of Arizona, found that not being able to sleep gave rise to hunger in the middle of the night, which is in the form of cravings for junk food. The unhealthy snacking at night leads to weight gain and obesity.
The study also found that poor sleep increases your cravings for junk food, and this kind of unhealthy snacking and irregular eating can lead to obesity, diabetes, and other health problems. Scientists think that this is an important way to show how sleep also affects your metabolism!
Ways to avoid midnight snacking
- Brush your teeth half an hour after dinner - you will be less likely to eat if you feel like you have to brush your teeth all over again
- If you have trouble sleeping, try disconnecting from screen exposure at least an hour before bed. Screen exposure makes it difficult to fall asleep
- Drinking chamomile tea also helps you relax and sleep better, making you less likely to snack
- Drink some water - often, we confuse our thirst for hunger.
- If you must snack, reach out for healthier snacks - like a cup of yoghurt or milk.
- Reduce the stress in your life - use techniques like meditation and breathing exercises to calm yourself down and sleep better at night.
- Eat regularly throughout the day, as this will help you avoid snacking unnecessarily. Don’t skip your meals!
Now that you know, do what it takes. Try to get 6 to 8 hours of sleep and stay away from snacking in the middle of the night!