An advent of ideas 17: bedtime

Many, many years ago as a teenager on a foreign exchange I learned that staying up late and eating late can have devastating effects. I loved my time in France and was keen to embrace all the new experiences. The family I was staying with kept offering, I kept saying yes. A stone and a half in four weeks! Fortunately it dropped away quite naturally on my return home, I didn't need to do anything but I still have the stretch marks.

I think the evidence on actual timing of eating is probably equivocal, probably because if there's a real effect it may be different for different people (we all know there are larks and owls). It may very likely be that staying up late simply gives you more time in which to munch so you consume more.

I know I am atypical and my life of rarely being out of bed in the evening is *not* to be recommended - a serious problem for a social life for starters - but it does have the benefit of keeping me away from food. I've had a glass of water, I've cleaned my teeth, I'm done. When people are tired, they may not have the energy to respond to whatever feelings come up in healthier ways.


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