The urge to grab a snack in the middle of the night can be a real battle especially if you’re on a diet or just naturally restless at night. It almost becomes easier to convince yourself that you deserve a treat, despite it being at an odd hour.
New findings suggest that eating late at night can increase weight, insulin and cholesterol levels and other conditions. But did you know that it can also lead to loss of teeth?
Why do people crave midnight snacks?
There are multiple reasons why people crave late-night or midnight snacks. Majority of people feel it is actually very similar to an addiction where many do it out of routine and boredom. Individuals have to figure out what makes them want to indulge. For example, what is their go-to-snack, when, where and why? Do they eat alone or with people? Is there something specific that gets them to crave a midnight snack?
Some common reasons that lead people to eat late-night snacks are loneliness, nutritional imbalance, grief or frustration/anger.
Is midnight snacking linked to environmental or inherited factors?
Environmental factors play a big role such as seeing food advertisements while watching TV late at night, procrastinating work/studying or even just insomnia makes people want to eat just to fill up a gap. Some common reasons that lead people to eat late-night snacks are loneliness, nutritional imbalance, grief or frustration/anger.
In general, eating at late hours has both physiological and psychological effects. Physiological effects include weight gain, tooth decay, tooth loss, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, etc. Some psychological effects include insomnia, depression, lack of self-esteem, etc. During the day, our body is more active and our organs are functioning at high capacity, meaning we can metabolize the food and process the energy more efficiently. While at night, our genes that regulate metabolism slow down and therefore can’t process the energy from food as efficiently. Even our stomach is full at the end of the day, so it’s not our stomach that is telling us it’s hungry. It’s actually our brain which is why it becomes an addiction and routine.