More often than not I find myself experiencing a craving for food as soon as the clock strikes midnight. There is something in my system that automatically makes me feel hungry around this time and begin to go on the hunt for food. What is it exactly that leads me do this though? Most especially, what leads me to have very specific cravings? For example, I was awake earlier this week around 1am and suddenly started to crave caramel flavored ice cream. There are hundreds of different kinds of foods that I could have desired and somehow I had become transfixed on caramel ice cream. Although I do experience midnight cravings, it is on the lower end of the scale. For people that have severe late night cravings, they could have what is known as a Night Eating Disorder (NES). According to a modern lifestyle article, one can be diagnosed with NES when one wakes up in the middle of the night for the sole purpose of eating, eats 25%+ of their everyday food intake after dinner, and has trouble sleeping at night which could potentially be relieved by late night eating. This can be explained by the way our body’s internal clock operates. In accordance to a study published by the journal Obesity, people’s appetite for sweet, salty, and starchy foods drastically increased after 8 pm and people were found to be hungriest during the nighttime. Another study conducted by BYU confirms this. According to BYU, food that contains a lot of calories can create spikes in brain activity. Therefore, people are found wanting to consume unhealthier foods late at night. This can be detrimental to an individual’s health because according to research conducted by Steven Shea, Ph.D, the body’s internal circadian system results in hunger which leads to increase an increase of obesity. Obesity has become a serious issue in America. In accordance to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2 out of 3 Americans are considered to be either overweight or obese. At this rate, midnight eating would only help to make that statistic more valid. It also leaves millions of Americans at risk for obesity. So next time you want a midnight munch, think about the harmful consequences it could have in the long run.