Don't Eat That: 4 Reasons to Skip Late Night Snacks

Jeanne Sager
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late night snack
Flickr photo by armigress
Late night snacks are my favorite way to guarantee I get to the leftovers before my husband can scarf them down.

The way I see it, it's like the old proverb about bears in the woods -- if no one sees me eating it, was it really my fault the pizza disappeared?

But some recent news on the nocturnal munchies front has just made me re-think that tub of Chubby Hubby.

Turns out late night eating is bad for more than just your marriage.

1. Your teeth. A new study has found that folks who snack in the middle of the night are more likely to lose their teeth as they age. The problem? No one is brushing their teeth after that spoonful of peanut butter at 2 a.m. And your saliva is slowing down -- so the food isn't being broken down.

2. Your waistline. Although researchers say that a late night snack won't likely make you gain weight if it's an occasional thing, they have linked nocturnal eating directly to eating disorders. So if you're big on trips to the fridge in the night, you may have a binge eating disorder.

3. Your sleep habits. No one wants to go to bed hungry, but the feeling of overfullness can actually make you more uncomfortable and prevent you from falling back to sleep. Also quaffing caffeinated beverages or consuming spicy foods can have the wrong effect in the middle of the night.

4. Your digestion. The same rule that applies to eating just before bed applies in the middle of the night -- if you're prone to heartburn, munching on food and then lying down will make things worse because the connection between the esophagus and stomach become horizontal (they should be vertical). 

What are you favorite late night indulgences?

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