Eating at night may increase risk of depression, anxiety - study

A research team from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, USA, conducted a study to understand the effects of meal timing on mental health. They compared the health effects of daytime and nighttime eating versus daytime eating only.

Late night eating

The researchers noted that the timing of your food intake is very important, and their findings can help in developing a novel strategy to reduce mood vulnerability related to circadian misalignment, often seen in shift workers, and people experiencing jet lag, or suffering from circadian rhythm disorders.

Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a 24-hour cycle.

While the study shows that the timing of food intake matters for our mood, the investigators stressed that more studies are required to confirm if changes in meal timing can help people with depressive and anxiety/anxiety-related disorders.

Previous research had already shown that shift workers are at higher risk of depression and anxiety.

Some of your daily habits can have unintended effects on your mental health. These include:

Not getting adequate sleep: Research has shown that people who sleep less than 6 hours of sleep per night are more likely to report mental distress than those who get more than 6 hours of sleep daily.

Spending too much time on social media: Excessive use of social media has been linked to increased feelings of low self-worth, anxiety and depression and other mental health issues.

Eating unhealthy diet: Poor diet can increase risk of stress and depression as well as aggravate mental problems. Too much of alcohol, caffeine, refined carbs, and added sugars is not good for your brain.

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