We have all gone through it at least a couple of times: we wake up in the middle of the night, head to the kitchen, open the fridge, and forage for something to eat. It can be as small as a cookie to as huge as leftovers from dinner a few hours ago.
Then, when you are done eating, you feel guilty. Why did I do it in the first place? You ask. A group of researchers, however, has the answer, and if it is any consolation it is not entirely your fault.
In a new study conducted by a team from Brigham Young University, it has been revealed that your brain reacts differently to food at night-that is, it does not look as visually appealing and therefore not as rewarding. In the end, once you start eating, you feel as if you can't stop because satiation does not come very early.
To make it worse, though, the brain tends to less receptive of food that is high in calorie based on the imaging tests the researchers have performed on their volunteer participants. On the other hand, the scans showcased a more active brain at daytime.
The research also shares why you get the urge to just open the fridge and eat: you seem can't help but think about food at night. This is even if you have already eaten or in reality the level of fullness remains the same throughout the day.
Although the study is still in its early stages, the researchers believe that the merit of their work lies in the fact that the time of day can actually affect the way a person eats: the kinds of food one consumes and how much is being consumed.
In one of the earlier studies performed by another university in 2013, late-night snacking is a possible cause of the growing obesity epidemic.