Snacking when you’re supposed to be sleeping can alter the ability to remember things accurately the next day, according to researchers at the Semel Institute at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Most likely this is due to your body’s circadian clock, which is affected by day to night changes. ”Try to match your light exposure and food consumption periods,” suggests study author Dawn Loh.
Late-night eating, especially if you’re sleep deprived, slows mental reaction times and attention, according to research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Study subjects who fasted while being limited to just four hours of sleep per night “did not show… performance decline.” But sleep-deprived subjects who snacked away “showed significantly slower reaction times and more attention lapses,” according to the study.