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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Why am I eating at 2 AM?

I came across this question several times in the last couple weeks -  a friend's status on Facebook; a recent article on the physiological reasons that prompt these midnight foragings for food, someone else who mentioned he was getting up at all hours to eat. 

When I asked the Angels for guidance on this, They reminded me (as I was fairly sure They would) "eat like a baby."

The need to eat at 2 AM - an hour when most of us prefer to sleep - may be linked to many things, but one place an otherwise healthy individual might start is to look at is if their inner infant may be in need of some attention.  Babies need nourishment consistently and around the clock.  According to the Angels, a part of us never outgrows this need.  Getting up at 2 AM to eat may be an expression of that need, one that with patient self-monitoring and gentle redirection might be met in some other, less sleep-disruptive or calorie-laden way.

At the very least, if this is an issue for you and you wish to address it, remember to plan what you will eat.  Don't leave yourself to the mercy of a hungry baby at 2 AM.  If you have a good idea you might wake up hungry, decide what you will eat ahead of time and perhaps even prepare some or part of it.  Peanut or almond butter on crackers with a glass of milk or a hot cup of tea, warm milk, or cereal are examples of ways to meet the need without eating high-calorie or highly processed foods that leave you feeling bad about yourself.   While you may not be able to prevent yourself from waking up hungry in the middle of the night, remember that you are in control of what you choose to eat. 

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