Primarily, people take snacks to take the edge off pre-mealtime hunger. Mindful snacking, which entails consuming a nutrient-rich and properly-portioned snack at the right time, enhances your intake of healthy foods. In contrast, late-night snacking impacts your physical well-being negatively, by causing weight gain, fluctuations in your sleep pattern and blood sugar levels.
Late-night snacking is likely to result in unnecessary weight gain. The reason for increased weight arises from the distortion in your metabolic functioning during sleeping hours versus the waking hours. Once you snack during the daytime, you are relatively active; thus, your metabolism works rapidly. Conversely, metabolic functioning takes place at a slower rate at night. As a result, the food that you have just eaten is metabolized and digested slowly; a factor that contributes to increasing body weight.
Fluctuations in Sleep Cycle
Another reason to avoid snacking late at night is that it disrupts your sleeping pattern. Based on research, the digestion process has a significant effect on your sleep cycle. It may cause you to wake, often and make it difficult to fall asleep. Some of the snacks that you need not consume at night include sugary foods and other baked goods. Instead, you should have a glass of warm milk or chamomile tea, which can help you fall asleep.
Effect on Blood Sugar
What and how much you consume, has a direct relation to your blood sugars. If your late-night snack choices consist of carbohydrates such as chips or crackers, you may wake up to find your blood glucose level unusually high. If you have to snack before mealtime, opt for foods with lower carbs such as nuts or raw veggies.
Increases Risk of Acid Reflux
Sitting down with a bowl full of fries after everyone has retired to bed, may seem like an excellent idea. However, doing so can cause heartburn. When you lie down, right after snacking, it triggers the stomach acid to “backwash” into the alimentary tract, resulting in a burning sensation and shortness of breath.
Late-night snacking is not advisable as it causes weight gain, fluctuations in your sleep cycle, and increased risk of acid reflux.