A study presented at Neuroscience 2014 conference in Washington DC on Tuesday 18th of November 2014 explains how eating during normal times for sleep could be harmful to memory i.e. cause memory problems.
The research which was initially carried out on mice by academics at the University of California Los Angeles shows mice that ate during a normal time of sleep had their sleep time and brain functioning altered. And this is the exact implication to be seen on shift workers or other people whose normal sleep patterns are disturbed.
According to the researchers, the brain region(hippocampus) that plays a key role in learning and memory of the mice was altered.
Dr Doug Brown who is the Director of Research and Development at Alzheimer’s Society, said:
A good night’s sleep is one of life’s great pleasures. Research has previously linked disturbances in sleep with increased risk of dementia, however this study only found short-term memory effects from disturbed sleep patterns, so the implications for dementia are unclear.
More research is needed to understand the long-term effects and whether they apply to disturbed sleep patterns alone or whether altered eating times are crucial to the disruption to normal memory. It is still unclear whether sleep disturbances increase dementia risk, though we do know that regular exercise, eating a healthy diet and not smoking helps keep your brain healthy.