Do you wake up hungry in the morning? We all do. It is a healthy indication of our body working properly. It is completely normal to wake up hungry. But waking up hungry in the morning or the middle of the night with a gnawing hunger is not so good. There might be several reasons for this, but minor changes in your diet or your schedule can work wonders for your body.
So, today we will talk about why you feel hungry after waking up and the causes and remedies. So, let’s get started!
Why do we wake up hungry?
Our body burns calories while we are sleeping. Great, right? Now you might think–no more going to the gyms or diets, you can shed your extra kilos just by sleeping them off—sadly, that won’t happen. Burning calories is a normal process for our body. We burn calories even while sitting idly. If you don’t have a medical condition, your belly shouldn’t rumble at night. Most of the time, it has to do with our lifestyle, but other conditions could also be the problem.
1.Overeating before bed
If you like to eat fast foods or sweets before hitting the bed, this could be a reason for you waking up hungry. Consuming foods that are high in starch and sugar right before bed causes a spike in blood sugar levels.
Insulin, a hormone released by your pancreas, tells your cells to absorb blood sugar. It causes a drop in blood sugar levels, leading to hunger. Scientists also recommend eating less at night, and if necessary consume a small, nutrient-dense snack of fewer than 200 calories right before bedtime like a protein-rich beverage, for example.
2. Lack of sleep
One of the most common reasons nowadays. Binging your favorite shows at night and then waking up hungry goes hand in hand. This could lead to higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone responsible for hunger. Aiming for 7 to 8 hours of sleep could help you prevent these issues.
3. Being more active than usual
If you start doing a new exercise or working a few extra hours in the office and not taking enough calories in, it could lead to waking up feeling hungry. This subtle increase in daily activities can have a larger impact on our energy expenditure. Our body feels stressed due to these large calorie deficits and reacts against them.
4. Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
PMS is a condition that affects your physical health and behavior right before your period starts. It’s supposed to be caused by changes in hormone levels. Some common symptoms are bloating, fatigue, food cravings, and changes in sleep.
Some medicines are known to increase your appetite which causes you to wake up hungry. A few of them are anti-depressants, steroids, migraine medications, diabetes medications (such as insulin), anti-psychotics, and anti-seizure drugs.
Thirst can be mistaken as hunger. Dehydration can make you sluggish, which makes you think you are hungry. If you are waking up hungry in the middle of the night, try drinking some water. Wait for a couple of minutes to ascertain if the hunger goes away. Staying hydrated throughout the day could help you from this.
Stress plays an important role in our nominal lives. Devotional channels are always talking about reducing stress and finding our spiritual side. Easier said than done. As our stress level increases, our body releases cortisol. It works as a fight-or-flight response causing sugar to release into your bloodstream for quick energy.
The best way to control this is yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises.
8. Physical overexertion
Exercise always helps to control blood sugar spikes. If you plan to exercise intensely at night, your blood sugar levels will drop low to keep you satiated all night. This results in waking up hungry as your muscles absorb sugar from the blood. Try to have a high-protein snack after your vigorous workout or move your schedule away from your sleeping time.
9. Night Eating Disorder (NES)
NES is an eating disorder that causes a lack of appetite in the morning, increases the urge to eat at night, and difficulty in sleeping. There is no perfect cause for this, but scientists guess that it has something to do with lower melatonin levels at night. NES isn’t always recognized by doctors as there isn’t any specific treatment option for this disorder.
Women find their appetite increased during pregnancy. It is healthy and not a problem even if you are waking up hungry, but late-night eating can be a cause for gaining too much weight. Hunger at night during pregnancy can be a symptom of gestational diabetes which usually resolves after the baby is born.
Other major health conditions
Obesity, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism are some health conditions that can have a profound effect on your appetite, especially if they involve your metabolism. These conditions cause a problem with appetite control. Diabetes causes trouble regulating blood sugar levels. Cells don’t respond to insulin, and sugar circulates in the blood which makes you feel hungry. Being overweight can make it more difficult for your body to control blood sugar levels.
Try to have a balanced diet with a little bit of everything in it (also include the good fats). Add more fruits and vegetables and less sugar, salt, caffeine, and alcohol. Doctors recommend not consuming large meals right before bed. If you feel hungry, then try to satiate your hunger with a small snack but avoid sugar and starch. Try to keep your sugar levels as stable as possible. So, simple dietary changes like these can help you in a long way.
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