You know the feeling. It’s late at night, and you suddenly have a hankering for some sugar. One of the biggest mistakes people make while on a diet is reaching for sugary snacks when its late at night. You do not skip a day of exercise, and choose the healthier option at every meal from breakfast to dinner. But then comes a rumbling tummy and the late night snack attack, and there goes all your hard work. Thankfully, there are super accessible ways to stop cravings at night and sleep better. Knowing how to stop cravings at night will save you a lot of guilt in the morning.
What causes late-night cravings?
Most people are well aware of the mid-night yearning for sugar. While some people do crave it in the morning, and others just keep craving all day, the usual pattern is to find that the cookies start looking better and better as the day goes on. In fact, in extreme cases, there’s a diagnosable upset. Symptoms of Night Eating Syndrome (NES) include:
- Eating large amounts (25% or more) of your total daily food intake after dinner.
- Waking up in the death of the night to eat.
- Not feeling hungry in the morning, but being ravenous at the hours of darkness.
- Problems about sleeping (which may or might not be relieved by eating).
This may be all assuming that the person is aware that they’re eating and remembers it in the morning, sleep-eating is a different problem, and a sleep disorder, NES is strongly related to obesity and diabetes, for fairly obvious reasons.
Not everyone who craves sugar late in the dead of night has a problem- that will make everyone “disordered.” But it’s not all that uncommon either: around 1-2% of normal-weight people and a far higher percentage of individuals with obesity have NES. And even people without a diagnosed disease still have late-night cravings that disrupt their lives and make eating healthy much harder to keep up.
So disordered or not, what causes late-night food cravings?
Your body has multiple internal clocks that govern just about everything, including wakefulness, sleepiness, and hunger. These clocks are regulated by external signals- as an example, bright light could be a signal to be awake, and dim light may be a signal to wind down and be sleepy. Eating is additionally an indication to be alert and awake. Ideally, the hormones governing these cycles are in sync with one another, so you’d want to eat earlier within the day after you have to be awake, so feel less hungry at nighttime after you have to be asleep.
Patients with NES have a traditional cycle of sleep/wake hormones, but a delayed pattern of appetite hormones and food intake. Specifically, their levels of ghrelin (a hormone that produces you’re feeling hungry) are lower within the morning, so that they don’t get hungry for breakfast the way that biologically normal people do. Their hunger is delayed by several hours, so that they get hungry within the evening, and eat, which messes up their sleep schedule because food could be a signal to rouse. That makes more hormonal problems and turns into regeneration.
Breakdown of cognitive control
Many folks are still clinging to the concept that dieting is about control. It’s not- it’s just about habits. They fight through every single day, and their willpower inevitably fades out when within the evening they’re tired.
Stress and negative mood.
Stress builds up over the day, and it’s an apparent effect on night cravings. for instance, in one study, alleviating stress through progressive muscle relaxation improved night eating. Acute stress might not give away to late-night binging, but as days go and stress builds up, it will soon give away to unhealthy eating and sleep disorders.
How to stop sugar cravings
When you find yourself craving sugar, here’s how to bring it under control.
Admit defeat a bit
Eat a touch of what you’re craving, maybe a little cookie or a fun-size candy. Enjoying a bit of what you like can facilitate your steer beyond feeling denied. Attempt to follow a 150-calorie threshold. Combine with healthy foods. If the concept of stopping at a cookie or a little candy seems impossible, you’ll be able to still fill yourself up and satisfy a sugar craving, too. As a beneficial bonus, you’ll satisfy a craving and acquire healthy nutrients from those good-for-you foods.
Go cold turkey
Getting away from all simple sugars works for a few people, although the initial 48 to 72 hours are tough. Some people find that going cold turkey helps their cravings diminish after some days and they are ready to lead a healthy lifestyle; others find they will still crave sugar but over time are ready to train their taste buds to be satisfied with less.
Grab some gum
If you would like to avoid giving in to a craving completely, try chewing sugar-free gum. Research has shown that chewing gum can trick your brain into feeling full and hence reduce food cravings.
Reach for fruit
Keep fruit handy for when sugar cravings hit. You will get fiber and nutrients together with some sweetness. And replenish on foods like nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. Supplementing sugar cravings by eating healthy might solve your cravings as well.
Get up and go
When a sugar craving hits, walk away. Take a walk around the block or do something to alter the scenery, to ward off your mind of the food you’re craving. Leading an active and healthy lifestyle will become a habit and you will slowly crave sugar less.
Tips for the future to reduce the craving for the long term
One of the most effective ways to manage sugar cravings is to prevent them before they begin. Start doing it by:
Skip artificial sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners may sound sort of a great idea, but they don’t lessen cravings for sugar and haven’t demonstrated a positive effect on our obesity epidemic.
Reward yourself for successfully managing sugar cravings
Your reward might be large or small. Remember why you’re performing on it and so reward yourself for every successful step. This will encourage you to lead a healthier lifestyle.
For one week, target your sugar cravings and give some thought to what you’re eating. Diet mayhem often results from a lack of design. So bog down, plan, and eat what you propose to eat, rather than eating when you’re desperate
So that your late-night awakening doesn’t turn into a sleep disorder, sleep better and comfier with Livpure sleep products. Get comfortable mattresses and pillows to snuggle in-you will forget about midnight snacking because you’ll be comfortable on our beds.
The Bottom Line
Having a one-off odd sweet treat is fine for most people, so you shouldn’t feel guilty if you occasionally indulge in some snacks. However, if you find yourself experiencing sugar cravings regularly or feel out of control around sweet foods, especially after your bedtime, then it’s worth taking a closer look at your diet. If you need something sweet, swap some of your sugar-filled treats out for some of the healthier options like dry fruits, fruits, milk, etc.