At this day and age, dinner or supper may no longer be considered as the last meal of the day. Nowadays, individuals are so used to consuming midnight snacks that the same is now referred to as their last food intake before they go to sleep. This could be linked to the advancement of our technology and the corresponding popularity of the television and the Internet. The prevalence of said forms of entertainment now provide people with things to do after dinner that cause them to be tired and hungry, necessitating food intake even after they have taken dinner.
In addition to this, individuals have also been accustomed to eating snacks while watching their favorite television shows or while surfing the world wide web. At first glance, there seems to be nothing negative about this except for possible weight gain due to additional food consumed. It must be noted, however, that eating right before one goes to bed has harmful effects to one’s health.
That there is possible weight gain due to the intake of food before sleeping is commonly known. Of course, the calories taken by the body during midnight snack would no longer be burned if the body goes to rest immediately after consuming food. Hence, food consumed will be transformed to fat. Apart from weight gain, it has been stated that “by eating food, especially junk food, before going to bed, that a person will gain weight and some may experience nightmares” (Anderson, McGonigle & Black 2000).
This is based on the premise that food intake before bed time affects the brain function while a person is asleep and hence, may lead to nightmares or unpleasant dreams. Studies also show that consumption of food before going to bed is one of the causes of snoring. In one article by Max Taylor, he explained how eating before sleeping can result to snoring thus,
Eating right before you retire for the night gives your body less of a chance to digest the food. This can result in the food sitting within your stomach and depending on the size of the snack or the meal it can also cause you to feel pressure on your diaphragm. It is that pressure that can result in snoring (“Help Stop Snoring”)
Hence, if an individual refrains from consuming midnight snacks before retiring to bed, there is a big chance that his snoring will be reduced or may even disappear.
Eating before sleeping is also said to cause a person to feel sluggish the following day. This is due to the fact that the body is deprived of enough energy that it should have obtained from a night’s rest. Food consumption before one goes to bed, according to studies, is said to affect the quality of sleep or rest that a person will get. As correctly pointed out by Wang in his article, “If you want to have a good sleeping, do not eat before going to bed.
If you eat a lot or have some food which contain chilly, high fat or high caffeine within 3 hours before sleeping, your sleep quality will be affected. You will not get enough energy for next day” (“Nine Bad Habits of Eating”). True enough, if a person consumed much before heading off to bed, it is to be expected that he will lack enough energy for the day following as the quality of his sleep or rest had been affected. This is bad for the health especially if a person is tasked to do something which requires a lot of energy.
It is not wrong for a person to eat whenever he is hungry. True enough, there are negative effects too when the body is deprived of the food and nutrients that it needs and wants. It is noteworthy, however, that the time food is consumed should be taken into consideration before one starts to satisfy his hunger. Studies show that there are a number of harmful effects brought about by eating before sleeping.
In the event that a certain individual feel hunger at a time near bed time, it is best to consider food items which are easier to digest to prevent the adverse effects mentioned above. So also, if eating before sleeping cannot be avoided, it is suggested that one refrain from consuming junk food and those containing fatty ingredients.
Taylor, M. “Help Stop Snoring, Limiting Eating Before Bedtime”. <http://www.articlegarden.com/Article/Help-Stop-Snoring–Limiting-Eating-Before-Bedtime/7542>
Wang, B. “Nine Bad Habits of Eating”. <http://www.articlesbase.com/weight-loss-articles/nine-bad-habits-of-eating-219311.html>
Anderson, A., McGonigle D., & Black, J. (2000). Effects Of Eating Before Going To Bed On Dreams And Body. The Journal of The Mind and Body. <http://www.link75.org/mta3/curriculum/english/effects/eating.html>