Why eating at night is not such a guilty pleasure. (take a look inside for the 10 SD comments reward)steemCreated with Sketch.

in #life5 years ago

Let’s admit it: each of us at least once in his or her life did one of those nighttime fridge raids.

Do you remember the feeling of guilt, always there to spoil the moment when you are enjoying your favorite sandwich at an unreasonable hour?


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Well, maybe, just maybe, you shouldn’t feel so guilty about eating at night anymore.

It’s quite understandable where this generally accepted maxim comes from: we can’t control our bodies at night, and as soon as you fall asleep with our bellies stuffed with whatever you ate for your third late dinner, the food starts, in the most shameless manner, doing all it can to turn into lots of fat.

Or just starts spoiling — because, you know, it’s night and your intestines need a night break too.


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Internet is full of content that just forbids you to do the nighttime munches you love so much. Have you noticed that most of the articles that you read have no links to any scientific researches on the subject?

Here’s something you need to know: not everything they say on the Internet is true.

Sad but true: a great amount of Internet content is just a fruit of hard labor of so many SEO writers, and let’s just say that content credibility is not their main goal.


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Let’s hear what science says, shall we?

Yes, naturally, certain processes in our body slow down at night — like salivation or swallowing frequency.

Upper esophageal sphincter pressure reduces, as well as the frequency of esophagus contractions.

But none of these factors allows to conclude that your body just can’t process food that got inside you just before you went to sleep.

As for the gastric emptying, it mostly depends on circadian cycles and not on whether you sleep or not.

In fact, there is some information stating that gastric emptying gets faster during the desynchronized sleep and slower during synchronized sleep.

There is also some data saying that it slows down during both. Some experiments with solid foods show that at night gastric emptying happens faster that during early morning hours.

Secretion of gastric juices is most active during the period between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. , regardless of the fact whether you are sleeping or not.

As of today, there is absolutely no evidence confirming the generally accepted belief that sleep affects gastric juices secretion in a very negative way.

Intestinal motility is even higher at nighttime. And this intestinal motility is what does affect your sleep.

Do you remember feeling sleepy after a good meal (no matter if it’s day meal or night meal)?


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It’s one of the ways to inform your brain that your intestines get stretched and start producing cholecystokinin hormone.

There is no interconnection between eating, sleeping and negative changes in the production of hormones that help your digestion, which means that hormones production doesn’t depend on your sleep, but rather on eating and digestion.

And then there’s also factor: your body adapts to recurring patterns. That is, if you have a long-standing habit of having late night munches, your body just adapts to it by creating necessary chains of reactions to make the digestive process go on as planned.

And please don’t misunderstand me: I’m not trying to find excuses for gorging yourself on all kinds of food late at night because science says it’s totally ok now.


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I’m all for reasonable control of your diet and eating healthy.

Excess of food, especially junk food, is bad for your health, guys!

What I am saying is just that your digestive system is perfectly able to work both when you are awake and when you are asleep.

And here are the links to some researches on the subject:

  1. Vaughn BV, Rotolo S, Roth HL. Circadian rhythm and sleep influences on digestive physiology and disorders. ChronoPhysiology and Therapy, Volume 4, Published 2 September 2014 Volume 2014:4 Pages 67—77. DOI. dx.doi.org/10.2147/CPT.S44806.
  2. Dantas RO1, Aben-Athar CG. [Aspects of sleep effects on the digestive tract]. Arq Gastroenterol. 2002 Jan-Mar;39(1):55-9.**

Thank you for reading.
I do appreciate all your comments and upvotes.
The most interesting comment (positive or negative or neutral) gets 10 Steem Dollars reward.

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Thanks for an interesting article. You mention guilt. Now why do we feel this guilt?
I think that we as a society have an ambiguous relation to health and food. On the one hand you have health hysteria,especially regarding food and excercise. On the other hand a lot of people have jobs that entails sitting on your ass all day,and a food industry that pushes all sorts of unhealthy food on people with agressive marketing.

Health and food has also become a class marker, with the middle and upper class being able to afford healthier food, and gym memberships.

Being more healthy and fit is seen as a proof of sucess,and closely tied to your attractiveness. This leads to stigmatisation of people who are unfit or overweight, and their food and excercise habits are scrutinized and critizised.

So in conclusion, most of us are neurotic when it comes to health and food, because of the prevailing norms in society and the messages that are being pushed in media and advertiszing.
These are just my random thoughts, and maybe obvious observations, but this is what comes to mind when reading your article.
You are upvoted and followed.

Thank you. Your comment like an article ))

A living being should eat whenever it gets a chance )
To control eating habits is like controlling breath, it is really something for control freaks only.

You wrote a nice article here, credited the sources of your images, and even cited sources providing validity to the scientific claims you made. Good, ass, job.

Thanks. Yes, this subject is versatile, so it was necessary to provide some research links.

Guilty? Who feels guilty? I am normally two sheets into the wind after a hard night out with the boys....and have those damned munchies again. Usually the next morning I gag when I realise what I threw together the night before as a 'tasty' mix.
Nice post...

Thanks to all for such a good comments. It was hard to make a decision who is the winner. I like all your comments, but only one can win...
So.... 10 SBD is going to @escapefromla213

Thank you very much. This is a pleseant surprise to me. When I posted the comment, it wasnt with the intent of winning. It was because I really like the article and I enjoyed reading it. Thank you.

I started eating before bed when I was a teen because I never made time for breakfast and had to be out the house fairly early. Cereal, cheese (cool dreams!) anything. I always figured that if it's good enough for babies then it's good enough for me-right?

Years later, I suffered from sore throats and I would wake up, every morning, feeling like I had the flu and I could never figure out why. Then, one night, as I was falling asleep I must have burped about four times, only tiny belches but they burned my throat and woke me up. I guessed that usually I was fast asleep before the acid reflux started, so that I didn't wake up! Mystery solved. Needless to say I no longer sleep straight after eating. I miss the cheese-induced dreams though.

Very good comment. Thanks.

I typically don't raid the ye old fridge at night and that's not saying I haven't. I'm quite sure I have in the past, I just can't remember. But this article got me thinking. Do I feel guilt when eating later than I supposedly should, hell to the no. When I make a decision I stick to it. That and I love to eat, am I a foodie? Nope just a dude that like three square meals a day (and beer). Anywho, back to the what I was saying, this article go me thinking. You see every time I have one of my... lets say well served and hardy meals, I become quite overwhelmed with the urge to take one of those mid day longer than usual power naps. Maybe that's my body telling me I should have something to eat before going to bed. Or maybe I should cut down on my portion size a little, considering that digestion requires quite a bit of energy, or so I hear. I don't know. But then again have you ever tried entering into a deep slumber with the pangs of hunger beckoning upon you every breath you take, I have. Going to sleep while hungry easier said than done. Lastly I just want to say that I really enjoyed your article. It is very well written, very well presented, and I like that you gave credit where credit was due. You get two, "hell of a good job thumbs up" bravo. Wish my writing was that... not sucks?

Your writing is nice. Thanks. 🌝 🌝

Good choice for winner-he has a fun conversational style that really doesn't suck, but just needs more punctuation and grammar for ease of reading.