Various late-night meals such as chicken, ramen, pork feet, and pizza, eaten late at night, satisfy a hungry stomach and satisfy the mouth, but cause swelling and bloating the next day. In addition, excessive consumption of these late-night meals leads to obesity due to weight gain and is a cause of metabolic syndrome, which increases the risk of developing adult diseases. In particular, if the habit of eating most of the daily food intake at night is continued for a long period of time, the risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease, digestive disease, metabolic disease, and chronic disease increases even more.
Night Eating Syndrome is a condition in which more than 50% of the total daily meal intake is eaten after 7 p.m. It means that there is no appetite during the day, but the appetite increases at night and the amount of food consumed increases. Now, let’s take a closer look at the main causes and symptoms that affect the occurrence of Night Eating Syndrome, as well as various methods to help overcome it.
Night Eating Syndrome Causes and Symptoms
Although the main cause of Night Eating Syndrome is not clearly known, it is known that psychological and psychological factors such as response to excessive mental stress, anxiety and depression account for a large part. If you eat food late in the evening, the normal secretion of melatonin, a hormone secreted by the pineal gland that induces sleep, is reduced by half, and the secretion of leptin, a hormone that suppresses appetite, is also reduced. It is an endocrine secreted by the stomach that the brain misinterprets the time when the late night meal was eaten as the meal time. Due to this series of actions, you cannot get enough sleep at night, and at the same time, you cannot control your appetite due to a decrease in the secretion of leptin and an increase in the secretion of ghrelin.
Habituation of these late-night meals causes the calories left over after the metabolic process to be accumulated as body fat, which not only leads to obesity, but also increases the incidence of digestive-related diseases such as reflux esophagitis, gastritis, and gastric ulcer. In addition, problems with sleep rhythm, such as waking up frequently, can cause sleep disorders and insomnia. In order to overcome these symptoms of night eating syndrome, it is important to improve and manage lifestyle habits that aggravate the symptoms. Please note that if you have 5 or more of the items below, you are considered to have night eating syndrome.
◎ Night eating syndrome self-diagnosis test
1. I often skip breakfast, and I do not have much appetite for lunch.
2. Bedtime is not consistent.
3. It is difficult to fall asleep before 1 am.
4. I often eat food before going to bed.
5. I often substitute meals with instant or fast food.
6. Waking up frequently while sleeping, often waking up from hunger.
7. Late at night, after having a late-night snack, I have felt guilty.
8. Food intake increases when stress is severe.
9. Abdominal obesity or changes in weight tend to be severe.
10. On average, I drink 3 or more glasses of soju a day and smoke a lot.
How to Overcome Night Eating Syndrome
1. regular eating habits
In order to manage and overcome the Night Eating Syndrome, it is important to eat a regular meal a day. Even if you don’t feel hungry, it’s good to eat at a set time, especially breakfast without skipping it. And it is said that it is a good way to eat a sufficient amount of carbohydrates for lunch and a light meal for dinner so that it does not burden digestion. In particular, it is recommended to refrain from consuming food 4 hours before bedtime, as the average digestion time in our body is about 4 hours.
2. Get regular sleep
With an irregular sleep pattern, the later you go to bed, the easier it is to eat late at night. Therefore, having a regular sleep pattern and having a habit of going to bed at a set time is also important in overcoming the Night Eating Syndrome. In addition, melatonin, a hormone that induces sleep, not only suppresses appetite, but also helps in the breakdown of fat during deep sleep. Therefore, it is very important to find a regular sleep rhythm and get regular sleep to help the smooth secretion of melatonin.
3. Eat alternative foods
Since many of the lifestyle habits mentioned above are not easy to change at once, it is said that replacing foods eaten at night can be one way. Instead of eating high-calorie and high-fat foods such as chicken, pizza, and ramen, it is also a good way to eat foods that are less burdensome and give a feeling of satiety, such as milk, soy milk, bananas, nuts, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and carrots. do.
In addition, foods such as milk, soymilk, bananas, and nuts are rich in tryptophan, which helps the secretion of melatonin, which not only helps you sleep, but also helps you sleep, which is the main cause of night eating syndrome due to its excellent neuroleptic action. It is also said to be beneficial in relieving stress.