University of Kentucky researcher Vincent Cassone is backing up what your grandma told you about refraining from porking out in the middle of the night. Midnight eating throws off the body's internal clocks, kicking it into “eat mode” when it should be in “sleep mode”, he reports.
The body is biologically wired, for example, to restore and repair certain systems while resting, and rest is dictated by that 24-hour cycle. Cassone's research shows that environmental cues, such as eating late, can potentially disrupt that repair cycle and affect overall health. Research has shown that people whose biological clocks are out of sync with their lifestyles - people who work night shifts, for example - have higher rates of some illnesses. People who eat at unusual times have more digestive illnesses than those who eat primarily during daytime hours, when the motility of the gastrointestinal system is at its peak - in other words, when your gut is working the most efficiently.