Most of us have found ourselves scanning the snacks area or the refrigerator at midnight for a quick snack. Eating a bar of chocolate, some chips, or your favourite ice cream can satiate your mind like none other. While there is no harm in having midnight snacks once in a while, it can have a lot of ill effects if you turn it into a habit.
A lot of us skip our breakfasts and eat small meals throughout the day, to hustle back to work. And amidst all this, we end up providing our body with fewer calories to work with. Thus, by bedtime, there is a considerable calorie deficit. And by indulging in midnight snacks, we end up consuming more calories in a single go.
Here are the ill effects of eating a midnight snack and why you should avoid getting into a habit of the same.
- Impacts your Memory:
There are a few studies that suggest that midnight snacks can have a negative impact on your memory. If one gets into the habit of midnight snacks, it can cause an imbalance in the circadian rhythm. Imbalance in the circadian rhythm of the body usually disrupts the hippocampal region. And this region of the brain is responsible for memory.
- Damage to Skin:
It might come as a surprise but eating at odd hours can make your skin vulnerable. If you make it a habit to munch something at midnight, it makes your skin more vulnerable to damage from UV rays. The enzyme Xeroderma Pigmentosum plays a crucial role in protecting our skin from UV rays. And it is usually active during the day and not so much at night. However, eating at midnight can hamper this cycle and make your skin more vulnerable.
- Weight Gain:
The possibility of overeating at night is much higher than during the day. This boils down to the fact that our body responds differently to the calories that are consumed during the day versus the ones that are consumed during the night. Night-time usually has lower production of leptin in the body, which gives us the sensation of being full. Thus, one is more likely to eat a lot more than what the body needs at midnight. Thereby causing weight gain.
- Cardiovascular Issues:
Eating late at the night can increase harmful fats in the blood and thereby increase the chances of heart-related issues. There are quite a few studies that show a direct correlation between midnight snacks and higher amounts of triglycerides in the blood. And these fats are known to cause heart attacks. Also, eating late at the night impacts your blood pressure. Eating late in the night elevates the blood pressure which usually is low at night. Higher blood pressure results in anxiety and hypertension.
Midnight snacks might give you a lot of pleasure but can impact your health negatively. If the midnight snacks are far and few, and you do not get into a habit, it should be fine.