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The midnight snack, the call of the fridge after dark that’s just so hard to avoid. As fun as midnight snacking may be, scientists from the University of California are asking us all to reconsider our midnight eating habits warning that midnight snacking can affect health, learning and memory.
Research soon to be published in The Smithsonian shows that eating at irregular times can have a negative affect on people’s biological processes.
Working with mice, the researchers altered the eating habits of one group to go against their usual natural behaviour and tested them against a group that had continued to eat around their natural clocks.
The study found that the mice who were made to eat at irregular times presented a ”disruption of the entire system", Professor Christopher Colwell one of the researchers behind the tests, told The Telegraph.
One of the biggest effects was on their memory as the mice who had their patterns disrupted were less able to recognise new objects placed in their cage compared with those who ate at regular times. The researchers also believe the study will shows that bad eating patterns can also have an adverse affect on the ability to create long term memory as well as altering the way in which we sleep.
They hope to use the findings to be able to create new solutions for insomnia by altering people’s eating patterns. Colwell said: “We think that we are uncovering a tool that we can use to either strengthen or weaken the clock, just by controlling when a person eats.”