If you're the type of person who regularly finds themselves sitting down to dinner at 9pm, then you might want to take heed of new warnings about what time of day we should have our last meal. Experts say that having a late-night meal keeps the body on 'high alert' at a time where it should be winding down, which can have dangerous implications for our health.
Researchers have now said that we should never eat within two hours of our bedtime, and ideally, nothing after 7pm.
The warnings come following a study of 700 people with high blood pressure, which found that eating within two hours of bedtime meant the participants levels stayed high.
Apparently, this is because eating releases a rush of stress hormones when the body should be relaxing.
People who don't see a fall in their blood pressure overnight are known as 'non dippers', and worryingly, have a much higher rate of heart-related death.
Late eaters were nearly three times more likely to be non-dippers, the Turkish researchers found.Researcher Dr Ebru Özpelit, presenting her results at the speaking at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Rome, said: 'If we eat late at night, the body essentially remains on high alert as during the day, rather than relaxing for sleep.'
So you don't have to worry about being desperate for dinner at 5.30pm – in fact, it might be good for you!