Why You Shouldn't Go to Bed Hungry
We’ve all been there – it’s one in the morning and you’re still hungry. You get out of bed and make your way to the kitchen for a late-night snack. Because who …
We’ve all been there – it’s one in the
morning and you’re still hungry.
Your tummy rumbles; you get out of bed and
make your way to the kitchen for a late-night
I mean, who can sleep when they’re hungry??
But are there any health consequences to late-night
We probably don’t even think about it, but
maybe we should.
We shouldn’t go to bed hungry!
Some of the consequences are common sense.
For one thing, if you’re grabbing a snack
in the middle of the night, you’ll probably
have trouble falling back asleep.
You just consumed calories, which turn into
energy inside the body.
Not too great for your sleep cycle, which
is essential for getting that deep, revitalizing
By eating when you should be sleeping, and
disrupting your sleep cycle, you’re short-changing
yourself in getting those 8 hours.
Another point to think about is that eating
a huge bowl of cereal at 1AM isn’t great
if you’re trying to lose weight.
You scarf down that bowl of cereal, and then
go back to bed, where your body will be mostly
at rest: all that cereal is going to just
sit there in your digestive tract.
You’re taking in calories, fat, and carbohydrates
that you won’t need to burn to use for energy
for a while.
This can cause the weight to pile on.
But like I said, we’ve all been there; it
may not even be hunger that wakes us up; we
might have a midnight craving.
We’re more prone to this, though, if we’ve
gone to bed hungry.
At night we tend to crave foods that are either
salty or sweet.
So, if you have to get out of bed and curb
that hunger, or satisfy that craving, try
to choose something healthy to eat.
Are there even more consequences of going
to bed on an empty stomach?
Well, you could lose muscle mass if you go
to bed hungry.
The part of the digestion process that turns
what we’ve eaten throughout the day into
good nutrients happens while we’re sleeping.
Going to bed on an empty stomach may deprive
us of the nutrients we need to turn protein
into lean muscle, and all that hard work at
the gym will go to waste!
The body also repairs muscle while we’re
sleeping, so disrupting that sleep – to,
say, grab a snack – may also get in the
way of seeing the progress of our workouts.
Another unwanted consequence of going to bed
hungry is that it may make you hangry!
We all get cranky when we’re hungry, but
say you’re up early for work, rushing around,
and don’t have time for breakfast.
You get to work and all you can think about
is how hungry you are.
That’s terrible for your mood and productivity!
Going to bed hungry will make for a cranky
start to your day.
Along with the damper on your mood, it’ll
make you even grumpier when you wake up tired,
and don’t feel like you have any energy.
During the night, our body is still performing
important functions – such as digesting
your dinner – and this requires energy,
which we get from calories.
Going to bed on an empty stomach may only
leave us with enough calories to perform these
essential bodily functions while we sleep,
which means we’ll have none left in the
morning to start off the day.
Our bodies really need fuel 24/7.
Your insulin levels and pancreas will also
Eating regularly keeps your insulin levels
consistent, and your blood sugar will stay
Going to bed on an empty stomach will cause
your blood sugar to drop.
If you’re diabetic, this is dangerous.
But even if you’re a completely healthy
person, this may cause you to wake up feeling
dizzy or with a headache.
Again, not good for the mood or energy level,
In the same way, grabbing a late-night snack
will cause a spike in blood sugar, and your
pancreas will have to work harder to balance
your insulin levels again.
This causes you to use unnecessary energy
while you’re sleeping.
Going to bed on an empty stomach is also not
good for those that have acid reflux disease.
Say you go to bed hungry and wake up at 2AM
with your stomach rumbling.
You go to the kitchen and grab a snack.
Your tummy is now full, and you lay down in
Acid reflux happens when extra acid from food
sitting in the stomach splashes up into the
throat, causing an uncomfortable burn and
taste, and heartburn.
Laying down with a full stomach makes it easier
for this to happen.
You might experience this even if you don’t
have acid reflux.
And if that doesn’t cause you enough discomfort,
you could end up having indigestion, and eventually
gas, depending on the type of midnight munchie
you like to eat.
Now you really won’t get back to sleep!
Going to bed with an empty stomach can affect
For one thing, if you’re laying there falling
asleep, and thinking about that salty snack
you want, you might start salivating, which
leads to drooling.
But since hunger is one of our most basic
survival needs as humans, we become hyper-aware
of our hunger, no matter what time of day
If you’re really focused on something, you’re
likely to dream about it!
You may have dreams about all kinds of foods.
If you’re lucid dreaming – that’s when
you’re aware that you’re dreaming, so
you’re more in control – the lucid-dream
food will probably “taste” better to you,
because you’ll be thinking about the best
parts of that food or meal.
That’s amazing, right?
There are also a lot of myths surrounding
the question of whether going to bed on an
empty stomach can give you nightmares.
The answer is…probably not.
We have nightmares when we’re under extreme
stress, have trouble with anxiety, or are
dealing with a trauma that we’ve experienced
in our life.
These are the main causes of nightmares.
BUT going to bed hungry may compound or add
to what we’re stressed about.
So going to bed on an empty stomach may make
your nightmares worse or more intense, but
it doesn’t actually cause them.
Going to bed hungry is a huge topic of debate
There’s even debate about the weight loss
Some studies show that there aren’t many
negative physiological effects of going to
bed on an empty stomach, or grabbing a midnight
But there’s no doubt that it can create
some bad habits.
The bottom line is simple: if you’re hungry
after bedtime, a late-night snack means extra
calories that you probably won’t burn during
And the desire for a late-night snack may
also point to other bad eating habits.
If you’re hungry at night, this means that
you didn’t eat enough during the day.
It may also mean that your meals weren’t
We all love grabbing a snack when we watch
TV at night, or if we’re on our laptops
or other devices.
But this can cause a vicious cycle of eating
at the wrong times, and being hungry at the
This will throw off our metabolic processes,
and make for less sleep, low energy, and grouchiness
in the end.
Did you get that?
The key is balance and consistency.
Indulging in a midnight snack occasionally
is perfectly fine, but don’t let it become
a bad habit.
Avoid midnight hunger by eating regular, healthy,
and protein-rich meals during the day.
Meals and snacks that are high in protein
will keep hunger at bay longer.
Snack on things like nuts or bananas.
Make sure your meals are properly portioned,
Keep in mind that all of this also depends
on the individual; if you’re trying to lose
weight, talk to your doctor or nutritionist.
Keeping your meals in balance will do the
same for the body, which makes for better
sleep, higher energy, and a happy mood!
Well, now I’m hungry!
How about you?
What’s your favorite midnight snack?
Let me know down in the comments!
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