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Health Matters

Does Sleeping Late At Night Induce Weight Gain? Here’s The Answer



Somewhere between the cramped schedules and countless professional and personal commitments, sleep has become a luxury, not everyone is lucky to afford. Experts around the world have time and again emphasised the need of 7-8 hours of sleep every day, but the increasing instances of insomnia and sleep deprivation especially amongst youngsters has a different and a rather grim story to tell. Being up all night or hitting the sack really late in the night has become a new fad in town, which experts just do not approve of. Sleeping late at night is intimately tied with sleep deprivation. Our body needs a minimum of 8-hour of sleep to recover from the day’s work. Inadequate sleep could cause irritability, hamper your focus and brain power, and in worse cases, trigger depression. You may be surprised to know that sleeping late may even induce weight gain. Yes, you heard us, experts explain various reasons for the link. Staying up late could lead you to tuck in a greater number of unhealthy amount of calories, thereby leading to weight gain. Sleeping late at night is also linked to increased levels of cortisol hormone, which is one of the major causes of weight gain.

According to National Sleep Foundation, staying up late and eating after 8:00 pm may be risk factors in weight gain. National Sleep Foundation cites a study from North-western Medicine to show that how sleeping late and your weight share a much deeper link. The study revealed that late sleepers consumed 248 more calories a day, mainly at dinner and later in the evening. Their eating patterns were also much less healthy as compared to their counterparts. It was observed that they ate half as many fruits and vegetables, twice the fast food and drank more full-calorie sodas than those with earlier sleep times. The calorie intake was more that contributed significantly in their weight gain, which was about two pounds per month – if they were not balanced by more exercise. The study followed 51 participants, 23 late sleepers and 28 normal sleepers, with an average age of 30 for a week. Late sleepers went to sleep at an average time of 3:45 am and woke up by 10:45 am, ate breakfast at noon, lunch at 2:30 pm, dinner at 8:15 pm and a final meal at 10:00 pm. Normal sleepers on average were up by 8:00 am, ate breakfast by 9:00 am, lunch at 1:00 pm, dinner at 7:00 pm, a last snack at 8:30 pm and were asleep by 12:30 am.

Regulating your eating and sleeping schedule could play an instrumental role in effective weight management. We have listed out some sleep inducing foods that would help you catch a good sleep, sleep in ideal time.

According to Macrobiotic nutritionist and Health Practitioner, Shilpa Arora ND, “No food should be consumed late at night. Ideally, one should practice a three-hour gap between meals and sleep time for a healthy body and weight loss.”

Bangalore-based nutritionist Anju Sood says, “During night, your metabolism is the least. So, whatever you eat, does not burn up too quick. Eating, too, close to bedtime may spike energy levels, which is not okay as that is when your body is looking to wind down. It is best to avoid sugary foods, or highly processed food in the evening to have a sound sleep.”

Here Are Some Foods That Would Help Induce Sleep:

1. Warm Milk

For the longest time, Ayurveda has hailed a glass of warm milk to be the ideal quick fix for good sleep. Modern science has studies that back the argument too. Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that converts into serotonin, which is known to have soothing effects in the brain, which helps you sleep well.

2. Cherries

Cherries contain melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. Eating 10-12 cherries a day could help you catch some good sleep.

3. Almonds

Almonds contain tryptophan, which has soothing effects on brain and nerves. Almonds also have magnesium, which are helpful in keeping your heart’s rhythm steady. Make sure you do not over indulge in them. Five to six soaked almonds a day are ideal.

4. Bananas

Easy to peel and eat, bananas in addition to being a treasure trove of nutrients, they are also proven immensely effective in making you sleep comfortably. How you ask? Bananas contain muscle relaxing magnesium and potassium, which helps induce sleep. Not to mention the good carbohydrate content present in bananas that could make you feel sleepy naturally.

5. Oats

The sleep-inducing melatonin present in oats would help you have sound sleep. Throw in some berries and honey on top to make the portion delicious and even more healthier.

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