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Snacking late-night could affect your memory

You shouldn’t eat junk food — and definitely not right before you go to bed.Brian Hagiwara/Getty Images

You shouldn’t eat junk food — and definitely not right before you go to bed.

Your late-night munchies already make you fat — now they’ll make you forgetful.

A new study from the University of California says that eating late reduces the brain’s ability to recall information and learn new things.

Researchers tested this theory on mice who were either allowed to eat at normal active times or at their normal bed time.

The mice who ate when they were getting ready for bed were less able to recall objects they had been shown earlier. In another test, researchers put mice in a room associated with an unpleasant, mild electric shock and noticed that the mice that ate when they shouldn’t have didn’t react in fear, suggesting that they didn’t remember the negative association.

The study, published by the online journal eLife last month, suggests that timing of meal consumption can disrupt the hippocampus, the part of the brain where memory and emotional experiences are controlled.

“Since many people find themselves working or playing during times when they’d normally be asleep, it is important to know that this could dull some of the functions of the brain,” said Dr. Dawn Loh, of the UCLA Laboratory of Circadian and Sleep Medicine.

Research on humans is needed to confirm the findings. But if true, at least there’s one side benefit: if you eat right before you go to sleep, you won’t remember all the bad food you ate.

jsettembre@nydailynews.com

Tags:
health studies ,
healthy eating

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