Are you a night owl?

“Why late nights & sleep ins may not necessarily be good for you.”

People who stay up late and sleep in consume more calories and have a higher body mass index than their early-to-bed, early-to-rise counterparts.

According to research from Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, night owls also tend to consume more fast food and full-calorie soft drinks than those who hit the sack earlier.

The reason behind late-nighters’ gains could be how the body processes food at different times. “Circadian rhythms in sleep and metabolism are synchronized, so that when the sun goes down, you’re supposed to be sleeping, not eating,” says Phyllis Zee, MD, PhD, medical director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in the United States.

“When sleeping and eating are not aligned with the body’s internal clock, it can cause changes in appetite and metabolism, which could lead to weight gain.” —Kristen Seymour