Eating snacks and unhealthy food at night may cause an immediate, observable impact on your life by reducing your work performance the next day. That’s according to a new study from North Carolina State University where researchers evaluated whether unhealthy eating can impair your work the next day. Among other things, the study linked unhealthy late-night eating with withdrawn behavior at work.
The study involved surveying a total of 97 workers in the US three times per day over 10 working days. The participants were tasked with reporting their emotional and physical state at the start of the day, as well as details on their work performance for the day later on, and, finally, they reported the drinks and food they consumed after work.
Based on the data, the researchers linked unhealthy snacking in the evening after work with an increase in withdrawn behavior the next day, reducing their helpful behavior and potentially harming their work performance by increase tendencies to avoid work situations.
In this case, unhealthy eating and drinking were defined as consuming too much before bed, eating too much junk food, or snacking too late at night. Such habits may result in poor well-being in the morning, including gastrointestinal distress, which was more commonly reported in participants who ate too much at night.
As well, these indulgences were more likely to cause emotional problems in the morning, including feeling ashamed of having eaten so much the night before. The study also found that emotionally stable people were less likely to have adverse morning reactions to late-night snacking, as well as lowered odds of changes in their workplace behaviors.