According to a study reported in the journal Obesity, researchers found that mice that were fed during normal sleeping hours gained more weight than mice eating the same type and amount of food during normal wakeful hours.
The body's circadian rhythm regulates, among other functions, sleep and wake cycles with respect to external dark and light cycles. Recent studies have found that the body's internal clock also regulates energy use, suggesting that the timing of meals may affect the balance of food intake and energy use, and in turn, increase in body weight.
Findings of this study show that the timing of food intake and increased weight gain are linked. This may have implications for human dieters who consume late-night meals regularly.