When Was The Last Time You Slept Through The Night?

Mid-Night Munching
Image used for representation only

The quintessential mid-night snacking and bingeing have now become an integral part of our lifestyle. But little do we know that this prolonged habit can have a lasting negative impact on our well being.

A recent research study done from Mexico City suggests that eating late at night increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Researchers at the National Autonomous University of Mexico tested this on rats by feeding them at different times of the day. The experiment found out that when the animal ate at the start of its resting time, it raised their levels of harmful blood fats, as opposed to them being fed just before they got active.

Reports suggest that the blood fat contained in meat, dairy products, sweets and cooking oil may clog arteries and inflame the pancreas, leading to heart diseases or diabetes.

While today’s lifestyle habits do not work on the premise of ‘early to bed, early to rise’ the binge eating adds to the possible dangers of both lack of sleep and physiological damage.

Yet, there is a very large community of millennial among others who swear by this routine, no matter how harmful it may be considered. Sleep deprivation is incidentally already a large concern among the youth in the city.

“My work schedule is very odd and this is the main cause of my entire body rhythm having changed,” shares Jisha Jose (26), a finance associate. I leave home at 12:00 noon and return at around 11 pm after dinner. By this time, I am super active. I connect with friends, read, watch TV shows and the like, post which I am hungry again!

“Although I know that healthy eating is the key, but I most often, stuff myself with homemade ‘laddoos’ or ‘chakli’. Every morning I regret having them,” she adds guiltily.

Ayan Jain (27), a chartered accountant, also feel that staying awake late into the night is why he indulges in sinful treats. “I can’t help coming late from work as I have been accustomed to it. I end up eating dinner at 10 pm, then indulge in a entertainment marathon, watching my favourite movie series and end up sleeping at 4 am.

“I eventually raid the kitchen to find something to eat while enjoying the series,” he exclaims.

While Pune’s youth believe that the current work demands have taken a toll on their lifestyles, experts suggest that it is the repetitive late-night eating habit that can prove hazardous.

Dr Manisha Bandishti

Dr Manisha Bandishti, a leading city lifestyle and obesity consultant opines that this trend is disturbing for our biological clock.

“Earlier people used to eat and sleep on time. But today the late nights and eating at odd times is confusing our system.

“Frequent lifestyle changes affect our body. At night our metabolism is low, due to which high calorie food convert into fats, leaving heavy deposits.

“Although people with a muscular and well toned body can sustain the lifestyle changes, the prolonged midnight snacking might hamper the insulin balance and could lead to obesity and diabetes.

“Several other ailments follow when a person is obese. Cholesterol and other heart related issues also tend to surface, with an excessive intake of junk, fatty or sweet food at night,” she adds.

Dr Manisha suggests that the best way to handle the midnight pangs is to try and divert your attention from food or patiently handle the craving that rarely last more than 15-20 minutes. Craving may also happen thanks to boredom, loneliness, insomnia, watching tv, or just frustration. You should keep a log and try to reprogram your attitude.

As an alternative to unhealthy bingeing, she suggests that, “we must shift to healthy snacking options like nuts, yogurt, protein bars, dried ‘chana’, salads, hummus, carrots, eggs, chicken etc.

“Sleeping at least two hours after eating, having a balanced diet and drinking lots of water and fluids can also help minimise this untimely snacking habit” adds Bandishti.


#All views expressed in this column are those of the individual respondents/quoted research study and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.

Loveleen Kaur

Loveleen Kaur

She loves travelling, dogs, sarcasm, humour and anything that spells F O O D, in that order. A writer on a journey to make positive stories a morning ritual and give society what it needs the most - optimism !!

Reach her at loveleen@pune365.com or tweet @KaurKaur18
Loveleen Kaur