T Nation

Waking Up At Night to Eat?


#1

In the 20lbs of hollywood muscle article here I noticed CW said nighttime eating was huge in keeping the metabolism going. I've read about it before but heard others talk about some problems with not getting a full night's sleep. I'm going to start waking up at night to at least give it a try, but here are some questions:

How much and what should I eat?

To start I'm just going with a spinach, chicken, and peanut salad that's only 200kcal (100 protein 100 fat). I'm hoping this is enough to keep the metabolism going yet not take too long to process since the metabolism slows while sleeping (which I'll be doing again right after the meal). I'm hoping it won't interrupt my sleep too much, so I'll eat it quickly and go right back to the sack.

Also, is it OK to cycle night eating every couple weeks?

I remember this stuff vaguely but the 3rd and deepeest period of sleep finishes after about 6 hours. If I'm only sleeping 4 hours at a time, I won't be getting through the deep cycle.

Obviously, I have some reservations about this and not enough knowledge yet, so thanks in advance for any light you can shed on this topic.

-Ritchey


#2

I'd love to see an answer on this one too... Do people who do this have a casein or Metabolic Drive shake in the fridge, stumble out of bed, down it, then go back to sleep, or do they eat "real food" as is suggested above?

Can't say I would think real food would be easy to digest right after getting up...


#3

Whenever my alarm goes off accidently and I don't want to wake up, I turn it off and fall back asleep relatively quickly. Almost instantly I have dreams, almost like I go right into REM sleep. I know that the alarm clock is a technique people use to get lucid dreams, but I've only had 2 in my entire life.

I'm not sure what you should do, I guess there are pros and cons to each. What would be bad is if you ate, then weren't tired anymore, and couldn't fall back asleep.


#4

I am an advocate of this, I think to avoid disrupting sleep too much have a liquid meal of 300-400 calories. Just keep it by your bed. If where you live is very warm, get a little fridge.


#5

I'm a big fan of just a shake.

Lately here's the nasty one I've been suckin' down.

24g Casein Protein
3 Tbl Spoons olive oil.
2 teaspoons flax

Not for the weak of stomach.

I'm thinking I'm going to start just taking my olive oil with a water chaser instead, as the shake listed above is pretty high cal and easy but TERRIBLE to try to drink, it DOES get the job done though.


#6

With enough ZMA and Melatonin going through your system you can finish your shake without realizing you were asleep.

I use this all the time, just leaving a shake by my bed with 2 scoops of Metabolic Drive and 1 TBSP Olive Oil.

I used to over drink some water before bed so I'd get up and then down it in the bathroom, but now I just wake up down it and back to bed. Many times I'll wake up and just see it empty by my bed.


#7

I usually wake up halfway through the night anyway, so I stumble downstairs and have a scoop of Metabolic Drive and some EFA capsules. I have the water in the shaker bottle sitting in the fridge, and the Metabolic Drive on the kitchen counter; the trick is to do it all and get back upstairs without opening my eyes!


#8

The alternative to this if you think getting up or waking up is disruptive to you, is this...

Eat fibre/fat/Casein in decent amounts just before bed, not ideal for weight management but good for bulking.

For example half a can of baked beans,tablespoon olive oil,5g fish oils,200g cottage cheese. This is a pretty much slow digestion / absorption meal.

If you want an extra boost in the initial hours of sleep, have a moderate protein carb meal, maybe liquid about 1 hour before this last thing slow digestion meal.

If you take ZMA take it an hour before the last meal too and away from the meal prior to that.


#9

Thanks for all the input. I'll order some Metabolic Drive right now. I've been putting off using protein shakes as long as possible, but I knew that as I work up to 5000 cal / day I'd eventually need to start using them. This sounds like the perfect place to start, though I'll only use them at night for as long as I can. I'll also drink a large amount of water before bed. I'm happy to wake up naturally in the middle of the night to take a piss. However, the alarm at 2am just pissed the hell out of me this morning. I actually drank a cup of coffee this morning at school and I'm a strict water guy normally (it's been about 8 months since I last had coffee).

Hopefully the Metabolic Drive makes it to me in Korea. I ordered a bunch of Surge which got to my US address and my family's forwarding it to me in Korea, but it would be best if I can just get this stuff without using a proxy.

Thanks again,
Ritchey


#10

Can't get it shipped directly to South Korea, damn. Since it takes so long and is quite expensive to go by proxy through the US, I guess I'll just have to either

A) Buy some Korean protein powder and hope it's not doing more harm than good

or

B) Buy some imported protein powder whose labels I can read that costs 2-3x as much here as it costs in the US.

Working out and eating right in a country where you don't speak the language can be a bitch :confused: However, I'm learning the language slowly and consistently. Perhaps I'll say something stupid someday like, "The more I studied Korean, the healthier and stronger I got, so if you want to build muscle, study Korean!"... on second thought, I don't think I'll ever say or write that again.

-Ritchey


#11

Ouch bro, I'd try to pick up some decent English stuff for the time being, use it sparingly like you had planned and just wait on the Metabolic Drive.