Ways To Control Eating Late At Night
It is advised to eat a balanced meal between 7:00 to 7:30 pm. A balanced meal will keep you satiated and provide better control over mid night craving until bedtime.
Avoid stocking junk food at home. If there are no junk food at home, the chances of mid night snacking will be drastically reduced. Replacing junk food with healthy alternative such as fruits, dry fruits, oatmeal crackers etc. is better than eating unhealthy food at night before sleeping.
Sometimes the body may mistake feeling thirsty with feeling hungry. It is therefore important to understand if the body need water to quench the thirst instead of eating snacks first.
Stress management can also help us in reducing anxiety and other psychological issues. Relaxing and calming bed time routine can help is minimizing stress and the urges to binge eat.
Despite all the measures, if the body stills craves for a snack at night, one can consider eating the following instead of an unhealthy snack.
- A piece of grilled chicken
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What Health Conditions Are Linked To A Lack Of Sleep
Adults who sleep less than 7 hours each night are more likely to say they have had health problems, including heart attack, asthma, and depression.3 Some of these health problems raise the risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. These health problems include:
- High blood pressure. During normal sleep, your blood pressure goes down. Having sleep problems means your blood pressure stays higher for a longer period of time.4 High blood pressure is one of the leading risks for heart disease and stroke. About 75 million Americans1 in 3 adultshave high blood pressure.5
- Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a disease that causes sugar to build up in your blood, a condition that can damage your blood vessels. Some studies show that getting enough good sleep may help people improve blood sugar control.6
- Obesity. Lack of sleep can lead to unhealthy weight gain. This is especially true for children and adolescents, who need more sleep than adults. Not getting enough sleep may affect a part of the brain that controls hunger.6
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The Takeaway: How To Rise And Shine
- Adults should get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
- Try to go to bed and wake up at about the same time each day.
- Dont drastically change your sleep pattern from weekday to weekend.
1 Catching up on sleep over the weekend may not help the heart, American Heart Association News, November 2017 https://news.heart.org/catching-sleep-weekend-may-not-help-heart/2 Your Guide to Healthy Sleep, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, revised 2011 https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/sleep/healthy_sleep.pdf3 Sleep Duration and Quality: Impact on Lifestyle Behaviors and Cardiometabolic Health, A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association, September 2016 http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/134/18/e367
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
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Foods And Drinks That Undermine Sleep
If you have an evening snack, avoid foods that can contribute to heartburn. Spicy and acidic foods like citrus and tomatoes may be especially bothersome. Alcohol, chocolate, and even peppermint may also worsen heartburn and reflux.
Alcohol can make you feel sleepy initially, but it wears off quickly and can actually fragment and disrupt sleep. By relaxing the muscles of the airway, alcohol may also exacerbate sleep apnea, a sleep disorder in which you repeatedly stop breathing in the night.
In addition, caffeine in coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, and chocolate should be avoided. Caffeine blocks adenosine, a chemical that makes you feel sleepy. When consumed too close to bedtime, caffeine may contribute to insomnia.
It can also increase the need to urinate at night, a condition referred to as nocturia. Not everyone is sensitive to caffeine, but if you are, consider restricting caffeine consumption to earlier in the day.
Overview Of Sleep Disruption
Disruption of sleep is widespread. A 2014 survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation reported that 35% of American adults rated their sleep quality as poor or only fair. Trouble falling asleep at least one night per week was reported by 45% of respondents. In addition, 53% of respondents had trouble staying asleep on at least one night of the previous week, and 23% of respondents had trouble staying asleep on five or more nights. Snoring was reported by 40% of respondents, and 17% of respondents had been told by a physician that they have a sleep disorder, the majority of which was sleep apnea. Relatively few studies have looked at sleep disruption in children. In a study that included a random sample of Chinese children aged 512 years, the overall prevalence of chronic sleep disruption was 9.8% .
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Bodys Internal Clock Gets Affected
Sleeping early or late, the study said, adversely affects the bodys internal clock or what is known as circadian rhythm a natural process that regulates sleep-wake circle and certain metabolic processes.
Earlier sleepers, the study further noted, were slightly older, less educated, more likely to be women and living in rural areas. They slept more, smoked and drank less, consumed less energy, had lower BMI , were more hypertensive but less diabetic and depressive. Later sleepers were the opposite.
The study also stated that participants from low and middle-income countries like China were more likely to be earlier sleepers, while those from high-income countries and regions like North America and the Middle East had later bedtimes.
The study mentioned that in the fully adjusted model where demographic factors, lifestyle behaviors such as total sleep duration, and history of diseases were included results were greatly attenuated but the estimates indicated modestly higher risks in both earlier and later sleepers.
In December 2018, a similar study published in the European Heart Journal had found that the amount of time a person sleeps, including naps during the day, is linked to risk of developing cardiovascular disease and death. Over 1,16,000 people in seven regions of the world were studied at the time.
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Irregular Sleep Could Be A Symptom Of Something Else
One thing the study didn’t do is measure the things that might cause someone to become an irregular sleeper, and how they might affect academic performance. For example, if you’re someone who goes to bed at precisely 10 pm every night and wakes up at precisely 5 am every morning, chances are you’re a highly disciplined sort, which means you might also have the discipline to get all your homework done early. Conversely, irregular sleep can be a symptom of depression, and depression could certainly affect one’s academic performance.
More study is needed to better understand these factors, the researchers say. In the meantime, if you’re a late riser stop beating yourself up about it. Concentrate on getting up at the same late hour every morning instead.
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The Importance Of Sleep
The quality of your sleep at night directly affects your mental and physical health and how well you feel during the day. Sleep impacts your productivity, emotional balance, brain and heart health, immune function, creativity, vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort!
When youre scrambling to meet the demands of a busy schedule, though, or just finding it hard to sleep at night, getting by on less hours may seem like a good solution. But even minimal sleep loss can take a substantial toll on your mood, energy, mental sharpness, and ability to handle stress. And over the long-term, chronic sleep loss can wreak havoc on your mental and physical health.
Sleep isnt merely a time when your body shuts off. While you rest, your brain stays busy, overseeing biological maintenance that keeps your body running in top condition, preparing you for the day ahead. Without enough hours of restorative sleep, you wont be able to work, learn, create, and communicate at a level even close to your true potential. Regularly skimp on service and youre headed for a major mental and physical breakdown.
Foods That Help You Sleep
Some foods contain substances that may enhance sleep. For example, turkey and pork chops contain high levels of tryptophan, a substance that is metabolized by our bodies into serotonin and melatonin. Each of these can play a role in bringing on sleep.
Including these foods in your dinner may offer some support. In addition, some foods like cherries contain small amounts of melatonin.
Generally speaking, a light snack before bedtime is not problematic. A 2015 study in the journal Nutrients concluded that a small snack might even be beneficial for the process of muscle tissue breakdown and rebuilding and metabolic health.
Other foods can be comforting, like a warm glass of milk, and this may help you relax and mentally prepare for sleep as part of a regular bedtime routine.
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How To Sleep Better
If youre experiencing mild, occasional problems with sleep, try these simple strategies from sleep expert Michelle Drerup, PsyD, DBSM.
1. Treat getting enough sleep as if it is as important as taking medicine.
With all the demands on our time every day, you might put a good nights rest at the bottom of your priority list. But Dr. Drerup says we need to schedule adequate time for sleep.
Its very easy to stay up late and burn the candle at both ends, she says. However, when you do that, you quickly run into a problem of dealing with sleep deprivation.
2. Keep a consistent wake time.
Wake up at the same time every day, including weekends or days off. Waking at the same time every day will actually help you to sleep better at night. A fixed wake time helps to build a strong desire for sleep throughout wakefulness. This sleep drive gradually builds, and shortening it by sleeping in will make it harder to fall asleep the next night. Sleeping in on the weekend makes it much more difficult to wake up earlier on Monday morning.
It also is important, Dr. Drerup says, to do some relaxing activity such as taking a warm bath or reading a book before bedtime. By making these activities part of your bedtime ritual, you can train yourself to associate these activities with sleep. This association will help you to move more easily into slumber.
3. Put away the smart phones and tablets.
4. If you do wake up during the night, avoid looking at the clock.
And A Harder Time Controlling Their Diabetes Too
For those who do go on to develop diabetes, being a night owl can make the condition more difficult to manage. A 2013 study in Diabetes Care found that, for people with type 2 diabetes, having a later bedtime is associated with poorer glycemic controleven after researchers controlled for total sleep duration.
We know that the amount of sleep you get is important, but this research is also suggesting that when youre sleeping matters, too, says Knutson, who co-authored the study. Other research in people with diabetes has also shown a link between evening chronotypes and unhealthy cholesterol levels.
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Is It Okay To Sleep In On The Weekends
The average person needs between seven and nine hours of sleep per night to feel rested . Unfortunately, 1 in 3 people gets less than that on a regular basis. That means a large number of us are suffering from sleep debt.
Sleep debt is the difference between how much sleep you need and how much you get. When you regularly miss out on sleep, your sleep debt accumulates, and your ability to function becomes increasingly impaired. Its harder to concentrate, your reaction times double, and you experience attention lapses at a rate five times higher than normal. Scarily, scientists have observed these effects even when the sleep-deprived individual doesnt notice any changes in their performance.
A common approach to paying off sleep debt is to sleep in on the weekends. About 56% of Americans follow this practice, sleeping more on weekends than they do during the workweek but does that really work? Sleeping in on weekends has its pros and cons, and scientists remain undecided as to whether its effective.
Study Reveals Why All
Shifting your sleep schedule may trigger changes in the body that can eventually lead to obesity, diabetes, and other serious problems.
You know sleep is important. Weve all heard about the harmful effects of regularly not getting enough restful sleep, such as increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, obesity, and more. But new research offers new evidence on why when we sleep may be of utmost importance when it comes to how those poor-sleep-related problems actually develop.
A study published May 21, 2018, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that staying awake at night and sleeping during the day for even just one 24-hour period can rapidly lead to changes in more than 100 proteins in the blood, including ones that have an effect on blood sugar, immune function, and metabolism. Over time, these biochemical changes in blood protein levels can elevate your risk for health issues such as diabetes, weight gain, and even cancer, says the studys lead author, Christopher Depner, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of integrative physiology at the University of Colorado in Boulder.
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Avoid Sleeping Late At Night
You need to know that every individual requires a minimum ofeight hours of solid sleep at night to function properly. However, there aresome exceptions where people either require more sleep or can do with lesssleep as well. What matters is finding out the amount of sleep needed everynight and avoiding instances where you are forced to sleep late at night.
If you wake up feeling exhausted, and throughout the day, youtry finding chances of having a nap, it means you are sleep deprived.Understand the conditions that might be causing poor sleep. These can be healthproblems like sleep apnea. However, poor sleeping habits are the main reasonfor this problem.
Late Nights Weaken Your Immune System
When I was in high school, the latest I’d stay up was typically 11 p.m. and occasionally, midnight. For the most part however, I’d get my rest pretty early in the night. Yet once I got to college, it was all downhill from the first day of freshman year. As in, every night was a late night, and I’d usually only get eight hours of sleep on Fridays and Saturdays. And, unsurprisingly, with my lack of sleep came cold after cold.
According to a study in the “Cancer Research” journal from researchers at the University of Chicago and University of Louisville, “Poor-quality sleep marked by frequent awakenings can speed cancer growth, increase tumor aggressiveness and dampen the immune systems ability to control or eradicate early cancers.”
A lack of sleep has often been linked to a poor immune system, so it’s no wonder that so many college students, and just night owls in general, get sick so frequently.
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It Affects Your Memory And Concentration Levels
Its not just your waistline that suffers when you indulge in late night cravings too often. It turns out that eating late at night is bad for your brain health too. Believe it or not, scientists have found that timing of meals have far-reaching effects on brain physiology and learned behaviour. Irregular eating patterns affect the circadian system, which in turn affects the brains ability of learning, concentration and memorizing.
Changes To Boost Night Owls Performance
Having a late sleep pattern puts you at odds with the standard societal days, which can lead to a range of adverse outcomes from daytime sleepiness to poorer mental well-being, explains study co-author Andrew Bagshaw, Ph.D.
For this reason, the researchers wanted to find out whether implementing some easy lifestyle changes would allow individuals to adjust their sleep patterns. They also wanted to see whether it could reduce the ill effects that the mismatch between body clock rhythm and the rhythm of modern society can have on health.
To this end, the team asked the 22 participants to make certain lifestyle changes over 3 weeks. These changes included:
We wanted to see if there were simple things people could do at home to solve this issue, says Bagshaw, adding that the studys approach was successful, on average allowing people to get to sleep and wake up around 2 hours earlier than they were before.
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Reduction In Effectiveness Of Immune Vaccines
When you overwork your body and progressively get less sleep than you should, it can eventually weaken your immune system. When this happens, the effectiveness of immunizations can reduce. Immunizations are used to help your body to create antibodies that fight certain infections. Your body is unable to effectively create antibodies which leave it prone to infections.