Nighttime Snacking and Sugar Cravings?
If you are someone who struggles with overconsumption of food at night, or what feels like an uncontrollable sweet tooth before bed, it likely has nothing to do with willpower.
I would first want to know what you are eating for breakfast. What you eat first thing could send your blood sugar levels soaring, triggering that spike and crash cycle for the rest of the day, and have you craving sweets many hours later. If you are feeling "snacky" around5pm, and/or that parallels with an evening energy slump, I would guess you are dealing with blood sugar mismanagement. Unfortunately in our society, this sensation is normalized; it's true that we are meant to experience a dip in energy at this time as cortisol (your stress hormone) is tapering off, and melatonin (your sleep hormone) simultaneously is on the rise. It's basically your body's way of signaling to you that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep (who actually does this at this hour is unbeknownst to me). However, it isn't supposed to feel as if you can't function.
What about that relentless need for something sweet at night? I love an upgraded treat after dinner as much as the next girl, but if it feels like an itch that can't be scratched, there is probably something deeper going on. Know this: your sweet tooth isn't something to be "stopped." As I have written about before, cravings are a way your body communicates with you on a daily basis. Sweet cravings therefore are a request for quick fuel (i.e. energy), and if you are experiencing this in a major way at night, you probably just need to go to bed. It could also have more to do with a lack of mindfulness or pleasure with what you had for dinner. If you didn't enjoy what you ate, your body will demand it. It's pure biochemistry. Lastly, stress and emotions play a huge role in cravings, and something we don't pay enough attention to.