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Surprising Findings Associated with Sleep Deprivation

We all know it’s important to get enough sleep at night — every night. It helps us stay refreshed, retain sharper thinking, have faster reflexes and the list goes on and on. But here are a few more detriments of which you may not be aware that are directly related to the brain not benefitting from enough sleep.

  • Scientists believe that we replay memories over and over in our sleep, imprinting them on our brain. The less we sleep, the less repetition we receive — potentially causing us to “lose” certain memories.
  • A sleep-deprived brain also may not catalog events correctly, causing us to remember things incorrectly from what actually happened.
  • Loss of sleep can cause poor connections between different parts of the brain, including the section that regulates feelings. Therefore, we can become more emotional and, in particular, experience more anger and negative feelings than when our well-rested brains operate more efficiently.
  • We often hear that we shouldn’t drive or operate machinery when we haven’t had enough sleep. But what about cracking jokes? As it turns out, sleep deprivation not only dulls our physical reflexes but also affects our ability to be quick-witted.
  • Ultimately, researchers believe that long-term sleeplessness may be irreversible. In other words, while a few nights of fitful sleep can often be cured by one good night’s rest, the impact of months and years of erratic sleep patterns may result in irreparable damage.

Theresa Fisher. The World Economic Forum. Nov. 19, 2014. “How a lack of sleep affects the brain.”
https://agenda.weforum.org/2014/11/how-a-lack-of-sleep-affects-the-brain/?utm_content=buffer4b998&utm_medium=social&utm_source=
twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
. Accessed June 3, 2015.