When You Eat Fast Food Before Bed, This Is What Happens

A little late-night snacking never hurt anyone, eh? That bowl of cereal with icy cold milk can really taste extra good when eaten standing alone in your kitchen right before lights out. Or perhaps you're a two-heaping-bites-of-leftovers-right-before-your-head-hits-the-pillow type of person? According to Healthline, eating before bedtime is a controversial subject between experts. Some believe that it will lead to weight gain, since your metabolism starts to naturally downshift before bedtime. Others believe a light nighttime snack can be exactly what is needed for a more sound and undisturbed sleep. If you have ever tried to fall asleep with an empty rumbling belly, then you likely are going to side with the latter.  

The experts may be standing strongly by their divided opinions. But we believe one thing that they might be united over is that fast food is a no-go right before you begin to count sheep. We get why this may be hard to accept. Fast food can be hard to resist. It's inexpensive, indulgent, and well, fast. But have you ever really thought about what your weekend midnight drive-thru habit could be doing to both your night's rest and your body?

Fast food and TV make for a dangerous combo

NDTV breaks it down for us. The belief is that the later you eat, the less your body is prepared to sleep. Especially if what you're eating came with a supersize option and the grease was visible through the take-out bag. Unhealthy foods with a lot of fat (ahem, Big Mac) and a lot of sugar (we're looking at your extra large caffeinated soda), can be extra hard to digest while you're sleeping, and can cause uncomfortable symptoms such as acid reflux, nausea, and abdominal bloating. Definitely not the kind of symptoms that leave us happily resting in dream land.

In addition, your supersized order could also lead to weight gain. When discussing late-night unhealthy eating, Betsy Day, manager of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Weight Loss Clinic shares via Eat This, Not That!, "Most of the time this eating is associated with other activities like watching TV and playing on the computer, which leads to mindless eating and, typically, overconsumption." If eating right before bed is a part of your night time routine, Healthline recommends snacking on healthy bites of fatty salmon, oatmeal, almonds, or bananas instead of all the greasy goodness fast food chains are offering after-hours. If nothing else, at least skip the drive-thru to protect the quality of your sleep.