(ORDO NEWS) — It’s no secret that eating at night does not have the best effect on the health of the body. In 2015, scientists showed how late meals affect brain function. In order to find out, the neuroscientist Christopher Colwell, along with colleagues from the University of California, used laboratory mice that lived according to their usual routine, that is, were active at night and slept during the day.
Scientists began to feed some animals from this group in the afternoon, that is, at a time when they should sleep.
Mice fed at the wrong time of the day quickly got used to waking up during the day to eat. Their sleep time has shifted, but in total they slept as much as their counterparts with the normal daily routine, and also ate and weighed as much as the mice from another group.
Scientists then examined the memory of mice. In one experiment, they placed two different objects in boxes with mice so that they would learn new objects. And after some time, scientists again put animals in cages with two objects, but now one of the objects was already familiar to the animals, and the other was not.
The authors of the study observed how long the mice sniffed objects. According to the results of the experiment, it turned out that in mice with a shifted daily routine, memory deteriorated greatly. These animals spent much more time exploring an already familiar object, as if they did not remember that they sniffed this object before.
In the second experiment, the scientists decided to scare the animals, and after a certain time they again placed them in the same place where the animals felt fear. As it turned out, mice with the wrong diet experienced less fear, because they probably did not remember what happened to them in that place.
Finally, eating at the wrong time of day affected the learning ability of mice. Scientists found that mice that fed at the wrong time of the day studied slower than individuals from another group. Scientists do not know for sure whether eating at the wrong time of the day will have the same effect on people’s cognitive abilities, but these studies certainly raise concerns about this.
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