8 Negative Health Effects of Late Night Eating

Health Effects of Late Night Eating

Eating late at night has been found dangerous to health. Although it is a regular habit for many night or late-hour workers, it is not advisable in any form. Yes indeed, consuming certain foods late at night has become a common practice for many people, but it may have negative effects on our health.

In this article, we will explore the potential health effects of late night eating.

7 Health Effects of Late Night Eating

Health Effects of Late Night Eating

1. Higher risk of obesity

One of the major health effects of late night eating is the increased rate of obesity. Eating at night tends to increase the daily calorie intake due to the inability of the body to break down calories effectively at night.

A study conducted at Northwestern University linked late-night eating to weight gain.

Also, another study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition stated that late-night eating leads to weight gain. Weight gain, when not checked, leads to obesity which increases your risk of diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and so many other conditions.

2. It may lead to eating disorders

People who eat at night may develop eating disorders due to poor food choices. At night, people are usually tired, and research shows that the more tired you are, the higher your craving for unhealthy or high-calorie food.

When you act on this craving, you tend to make wrong choices which may develop into an eating disorder.

Eating disorders can be dangerous to your health and may increase your risk of developing some diseases.

3. Affects digestion and metabolism

Generally, the body’s metabolism is low at night due to the inactive state of the body. Eating late worsens the already low metabolism and leads to poor digestion.

Poor digestion makes you vulnerable to several diseases because your body cannot distribute the nutrients to the body’s vital parts.

Also, it increases the fatty molecules in your body, which might increase your risk of falling ill. 

4. It can affect your sleep schedule

When you eat at night, it will affect your sleep schedule. The time you would have used to sleep will be spent eating. A proper sleep schedule for a healthy individual is eight hours of uninterrupted sleep.  Not having an adequate sleep is dangerous to your physical and mental health.

5. It might affect memory and learning

Eating late at night has been suspected to affect memory and learning in humans during the day.

Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles carried out a study on the cognitive abilities of the mice after feeding them.

After two weeks of finding them, the findings showed that the timing of meals significantly affected memory and learned behavior.

However, more research will be conducted on humans to ascertain the claim. 

6. Increases risk of Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Increased risk of developing Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is one of the health effects of late night eating. This is a condition where the food in the stomach gets trapped in the esophagus.

Research estimates that between 18.1 and 27.8 percent of North Americans experience GERD.

GERD might cause you to experience sharp stomach pain and burps, which is not a sign of a healthy system.

7. Heartburn

Heartburn is a common digestive discomfort that is often described as a burning sensation in the upper-chest and mid-chest, possibly involving the neck and throat, that may worsen when lying down.

Heartburn is usually triggered by certain foods or activities, such as eating spicy or fatty foods, drinking alcohol, or lying down after eating.

In addition, eating late-night eating can also cause heartburn because you are likely to lay down after eating close to bedtime.

8. Making unhealthy food choices

You are likely to make poor food choices when you eat later in the day. And this can lead to overeating or choosing quick, unhealthy options like chips, candy, or ice cream.

A study with 104 people who have obesity found that 45% picked sweets as their go-to snack in the evening and at night. Also, not eating enough during the day may cause overeating at night.

Research shows that people who have less than three meals a day feel less full than those who eat three meals or more.


Eating late at night is very dangerous to your health, and no reason worth you to eat persistently at night. However, the impact of late night eating on an individual’s health may depend on the specific types and amounts of food consumed, as well as other factors such as overall diet and lifestyle

If you want to avoid the health effects of late-night eating, you must practice good nutrition and eat as far away from bedtime.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *