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  • Article

3 min read

What happens if you go to bed too late?

Did you know going to bed late at night could be the reason for your elevenses cravings? 

According to the Sleep Foundation, studies have found that insufficient sleep increases overeating and unhealthy food choices. Not surprisingly, studies have also linked insufficient sleep to weight gain and a higher risk of obesity. Sleep plays a vital role in regulating hormone levels, including the hormones leptin and ghrelin, which are integral to hunger and appetite, and a disruption to the production of these hormones can in turn lead to over-eating from an increased appetite the following day. 

Does this mean that to lose weight we should hit the hay earlier?

Going to bed late affects our eating habits as we’ve just explained - if your bedtime varies by more than one hour, we are likely to consume 245 more calories in a week. So it’s best to try and stick to a routine when it comes to your bedtime.

Our sleep expert, Nerina Ramlakhan backs this advice; go to bed between 7pm and 11pm to increase the cravings for vegetables, fruits, high-fibre carbohydrates, lean proteins and heart-healthier fats. 

If you have trouble falling asleep, Dr Nerina says: "Winding down properly before getting in to bed is crucial to helping you sleep better. You are more likely to access efficient deep sleep if you allow your body and mind to relax than if you rush to bed feeling anxious - so even delay going to bed if necessary".

What other impacts can loss of sleep have?

There are lots of other things that can be impacted by a lack of sleep, such as your immune system, your brain functions and your memory, so sticking to roughly the same bedtime each night will have more benefits that you might think!  

Author - Liz Tabron

Liz Tabron

Liz has over 7 years' experience in writing lifestyle, home, health, and eco content. Liz's mission is to make accessible our expert team's knowledge.