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Learn why Midnight Snacking is Harmful for your Health

May 04, 2018

Learn why Midnight Snacking is Harmful for your Health
Learn why Midnight Snacking is Harmful for your Health | Credit: Smartlifebites

Do you crave for snacks during midnight? Are you unable to sleep because of hunger during nighttime? If you have answered yes to both questions, then maybe, you are not eating properly during the day. You must ensure to eat a diet rich in healthy fats and proteins for providing nutriment to your body and reducing the food cravings at night.

Midnight Snacking is a sign of eating Disorder

At times, you may be on a diet and not consume sufficient food during the day. In such cases, your sleep could be disrupted due to hunger and cause you to overeat at night. However, your health could suffer if you do not abstain from eating at midnight.

Reasons why midnight snacking is detrimental to your health

There are several harmful effects if you indulge in snacks at midnight. These include weight gain and sleeping disorders.

Also, if you consume snacks late at night, your chances of heart-related illnesses and diabetes are heightened. Midnight snacking can lead to a rise of insulin and glucose levels and in turn, cause Type-2 Diabetes. Moreover, irregular eating habits can result in a rise in cholesterol and blood-pressure levels and give rise to heart disorders.

Credit: Huffington Post
Credit: Huffington Post

Furthermore, your cognitive ability and memory function can reduce due to snacking during the midnight hours.

Also, you could suffer from acid reflux. Keep in mind that the stomach requires few hours to digest the consumed food. Therefore, if you sleep within 2 hours of consuming meals, the stomach acids tend to spill and enter the esophagus, causing acid reflux.

Eating snacks during midnight can also make you hungrier on the following day. This is because the pancreas tends to release insulin after a meal. Consequently, there is increased production of glucose in the body and this leads to the release of ‘ghrelin’ hormone that causes hunger. Remember that the time-period between 8 am and 8 pm is required by the body for the reset of ‘ghrelin’. Therefore, if you do not eat between these timings, then in the morning, only normal levels of hunger are experienced.

Even the Cortisol hormone has a role to play. If you sleep at night, the Cortisol levels seem to dwindle. However, if you are awake late at night, your Cortisol levels will increase. Heightened production of Cortisol in the body can make you feel hungry. Also, due to higher Cortisol levels, there is greater production of insulin and blood sugar in the body and can give birth to a myriad of health-related issues.

Eating late at night can cause weight gain as well. This is because the calories are stored as fat.

Credit: Element5 Digital
Credit: Element5 Digital

What you can do to help yourself

After having learned about the perils of indulging in midnight snacking, you may be seeking alternatives on how to reduce the food cravings at night. Well, there are several options.

For reducing the urges to snack at midnight, the dieticians suggest eating 2 hours before sleeping for facilitating digestion. Also, you can sleep soundly as your appetite is satiated.

However, at times, there is a possibility that you are overcome by hunger. In such cases, you should opt for healthy foods. Abstain from consuming sugary, acidic, and spicy foods. Also, caffeine and alcohol are a strict no-no. Instead, go with greek yogurt that is topped with berries or whole wheat bread along with peanut butter.

There are other foods that induce sleep as well. These are tart cherry juice, almonds and bananas. You should bear in mind that melanin and magnesium can promote sleep. Bananas are recommended because they contain nutrients such as amino-acids, magnesium and vitamin-B6 – nutritional compounds that facilitate the release of melanin. Also, tart cherry juice induces the release of melatonin. Almonds are recommended because they are sources of magnesium.

Healthy Midnight Snacks


On a concluding note, you should keep in mind that health and happiness are correlated. Therefore, if you want to be happy, taking care of your health is an absolute must. In your quest of improving your overall well-being, avoid the urges to snack at midnight. Rather lead a healthy and active lifestyle.