Are you frequently reaching your kitchen at night for midnight food? You might be doing this just because of feeling hungry or without having any hunger feeling just for munching purpose. The thing to know is that a new study states that this habit can alter the physiology of your brain. When you take late night food, which is the time normally reserved for sleeping, it will lead to deficiency in the kind of memory and learning that is controlled by an area of your brain called as hippocampal.
Team from University of California:
A team of researchers from this university decided to identify whether time reserved for sleeping is the right time of food. So, they conducted the test on mice, by feeding them during nighttime. After eating foods continuously during sleeping time, it was found that the mice were not able to recall the objects. When some mice were fed at sleeping hours, some were made to sleep during the time reserved for fed, but were fed at the right time suitable for eating. As compared to the mice falling under the former category, those falling under latter category were able to identify objects as they had better recalling ability. Not just short-term memory, the team found that the long-term memory was also significantly affected due to continuous late night food consumption.
Governed by hippocampus in brain:
In general, the ability to identify novel object is a sense that is governed by the organ in the brain called hippocampus. This plays a crucial role in the ability of humans in associate senses and emotional experiences with memory and also the ability of humans in organizing and storing new memories. At the time of an experience, nerve impulses are generally activated along particular pathways and when the experience is repeated, the same pathways increase in strength. But, this effect was reduced when foods were made available to mice during a six-hour window in the middle of their normal sleeping time as against during their active day-time window.
There is a protein called CERB or Camp Response Element-Binding Protein, which is less active. It is known to reduce memory and it might also play an important role in the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. In the case of mice that were not fed at the right time of food, it was found that the CERB activity all through the hippocampus was reduced considerably with the strongest effects in the day.
Besides these effects, night eating does not come under the category of good food habits. Also, it will disturb the sleep pattern, thereby bringing an ill-effect on the stress levels in the humans. So, it is important that we should avoid late night food at any cost to lead a healthy life both physically and mentally.