Occasionally, waking up hungry at night isn’t something you need to worry about, but a routine feeling of hunger after dinner time is something you should look in to closely. Our body is designed to sleep through the night without requiring any sustenance, and making some changes in your every day routine will help battle middle of the night hunger pangs.
What Causes Hunger In The Middle Of The Night?
Common causes include:
- Inadequate intake of food during the day: If you eat inadequately through the day, or if you eat at the wrong times, you won’t have an adequate amount of calories to keep up your body whilst you sleep.
- Changes in your blood sugar level: Fluctuation in the blood sugar makes you get up hungry at night. Typically, this occurs if your dinner comprises of large amounts of refined carbohydrates, such as – white pasta or white bread; these cause a rapid spike in your blood sugar level. This is followed by a fall in the blood sugar level, which makes you hungry.
- Hormone Changes: Hormones control hunger. Ghrelin, a hormone makes you hungry, while, leptin limits your food intake. If the ghrelin and leptin levels in your body imbalanced, it could affect your appetite and hunger. Stress as well as fluctuations of the hormone profile during the menstrual cycle set off hormonal changes that contribute to the desire to eat late at night.
- Environmental Factors: Your lifestyle may trigger midnight hunger. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, eat at irregular times and stay up until midnight, you often feel like snacking given that, it’s been long since dinner time. Also, studies have shown that if you watch T.V. while staying up late, watching food commercials can make you feel hungry. Also, when you unwind at home after a long, hard day, you feel like rewarding yourself for getting through all those challenges.
How To Deal With Hunger Pains At Night?
Here’s what you can do to battle midnight food cravings:
Begin your day with a wholesome breakfast. Make sure that you eat within an hour of getting up. Have whole grains and proteins with breakfast along with a fruit. Proteins in the morning help increase leptin levels in the body; this helps you feel fuller for longer.
Make sure that you eat something every 3 hours; have 5 to 6 small meals through the day. This will ensure that you consume adequate calories through the day and do not wake up in the middle of the night feeling hungry.
Drink plenty of water. You need to consume at least 8 to 10 glasses daily. Staying well hydrated reduces your hunger pangs. More often than not, your cravings may only be an indication that you are dehydrated. Have lots of water through the day; and in case you feel hungry at night have some herbal tea which could act like a light snack.