Going to bed hungry can be safe as long as you're eating a well-balanced diet throughout the day. Avoiding late-night snacks or meals can actually help avoid weight gain and an increased BMI. If you're so hungry that you can't go to bed, you can eat foods that are easy to digest and promote sleep.
“If you are hungry, you should eat something, regardless of the time of day,” says Aimee Takamura, registered dietitian and director of wellness and sustainability at Restaurant Associates. “The act of eating late at night does not affect metabolism or lead to many of the adverse effects you may have heard of.
“For optimal sleep it's best not to go to bed too hungry or too full,” says Lisa Moskovitz, R.D. On one hand, falling asleep when all you can think about is the pit in your stomach is difficult AF. But eating too late can wreak havoc on your bod.
Bedtime hunger may be an indication that you're not eating enough during the day. As a result, your body may be trying to compensate right before bed by taking in extra energy to make up for what it missed earlier.
If a person wakes up hungry during the night, they may not have eaten enough during the day or changed their routine to get more exercise. Alternately, a person may not be getting enough sleep, or they may have night eating syndrome.
“The studies suggest that eating out of our normal rhythm, like late at night, may prompt weight gain” and higher levels of blood sugar, which can raise the risk of chronic disease, Allison says.
You've experienced a shift in your "normal" habits around meal times and/or bedtime. "This may be obvious, but it's worth noting that if you bump up your dinner time significantly (to an earlier time of day), your body may think it's time for breakfast in the middle of the night (thus, the cause of your hunger!).
Keep yourself hydrated.
Pouring yourself a big glass of water and drinking it may help to quell any cravings or hunger. To stay hydrated, women should consume 2.7 liters and men should consume 3.7 liters of fluids daily. If you don't want to drink plain water, you could add a slice of lemon or a sprig of mint.
Calories consumed at night won't change your metabolism or count more than calories consumed during the day. Weight gain and weight loss comes down to a simple math equation, explains Day. “Too many calories taken in versus not enough expended on any given day, regardless of the time, will lead to weight gain.”
“Those who get hungry before bed can try eating low-caloric snacks which may help with hunger, but decrease the possible adverse effects of eating so late,” McHill says. If you're needing a bigger meal later in the evening, make sure the foods aren't keeping you up with bloating, heartburn, or acid reflux.
In a nutshell, it can be concluded that 3am craving can be a result of several things. Right from your eating and sleeping patterns to your hormones. Hence, the best way to deal with this untimely hunger pang is by changing your eating habits and adding foods to your diet that can improve metabolism and induce sleep.
It's completely normal to wake up hungry. While a grumbling stomach first thing in the morning might not feel so great, you can easily fix it by eating a nourishing breakfast after hopping out of bed. Waking up really hungry doesn't automatically mean that there's something wrong with your dietary lifestyle or health.
Stick to bland foods like crackers, toast, potatoes, noodles, and rice. Try eating very small meals, 6-8 a day. You may be able to tolerate foods that contain a lot of water, like frozen pops, Jell-O, and broth-based soups.
Letting your hunger be a guide is an effective weight loss strategy. Eating when you're not hungry, or for emotional reasons such as anger, sadness or boredom, can be a major contributor to weight gain. Paying attention to your hunger cues and reducing your calorie intake is essential to shed excess weight.
"When it comes to weight loss, going to bed a little bit hungry can help because it keeps hormones like insulin low, and that can help facilitate weight loss," Davis says. But she reiterates that having a big dinner right before bed has the opposite effect.
However, by going to bed on an empty stomach, your blood sugar level may drop, also referred to as hypoglycemia. The condition can be dangerous for people with diabetes and other critical health issues. Even in healthy folks, low blood sugar levels can cause headaches and dizziness and negatively affect sleep.
Hunger indicates that you are running low on nutrients and energy, not that your body is starting to burn fat storage. Furthermore, long-lasting hunger induced by the drastic calorie restriction is an indicator of starvation, which will only slow down your metabolism and weight loss.
No matter which route you take, popcorn is one of the best late-night snacks there is. It satisfies salty or sweet cravings, depending on what you mix it with, and it'll keep you full 'til breakfast.