Eating at night leads to impaired memory and learning abilities
From the WhiteBox project, by artist Tanya Poberezhnaya,
Neuroscientists from the Institute of Neurology and Human Behavior (a division of the University of California at Los Angeles) found in experiments on mice that eating food at bedtime negatively affects the brain's ability to learn and form memory.
Nutritionists already know that eating food at night, when important processes related to metabolism take place in the body, lead to metabolic disorders and threaten the formation of prediabetes states. Now, American neuroscientists have found another harmful effect of a night dora - a deterioration in the basic functions of the brain.
“We presented the first evidence that regular eating at inopportune times has a far-reaching effect on learning and memory,” warns lead author Dawn Loh. “Since many people are used to working or playing during sleep hours, information on brain impairment will be quite important for everyone.”
Of course, for the time being all experiments were carried out only on mice. However, some researchers have already conducted tests, according to the results of which people working in shifts, worse than others, managed with cognitive tests.
Regarding mice, it turned out that constant feeding at night leads to a deterioration in both short-term memory (the ability to recognize recently studied objects) and long-term. Both of these functions, according to modern concepts in neurobiology, are regulated by the hippocampus - part of the limbic system of the brain. In addition to memory, the hippocampus is responsible for the formation of emotions and the ability to concentrate.
Some genes responsible for circadian rhythms, learning, and memory are regulated by the CREB protein. This protein is most actively secreted in the daytime, and at night its activity is significantly reduced. At the same time, this protein does not affect the activity of the suprachiasmatic nucleus, the part of the hippocampus responsible for circadian rhythms. Desynchronization of circadian rhythms in various parts of the brain leads, according to scientists, to a disruption in the normal formation of memory.
In addition, scientists noted a violation of sleep rhythms in experimental mice. Although the total number of hours per day spent by mice in a dream did not change, their sleep quality deteriorated. They slept in fits and starts, in short periods during the day and night.