Study Warns Against Brain Damage Due To Lack Of Sleep
New Delhi: Medical practitioners, health experts, and nutritionists always lay emphasis on the importance of adequate and a good night’s sleep for a healthy life. In fact, they stress on not making compromises on this front at all. Now, a new study indicates that lack of sleep not only affects your mood but also impacts your brain health. The study, published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Proteome Research, noted that a protective protein’s level in the brain declines with sleep deprivation, leading to neuronal death. The mice study claimed that there was “neurological damage in the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in learning and memory”.
As part of the research, the authors evaluated how well mice navigated a simple maze and learned to recognise new objects after having been sleep-deprived for two days. “They then extracted the proteins in the animals’ hippocampi and identified those whose abundance changed. Then, to further narrow the possibilities, they looked at data linking these proteins to maze performance in related strains of mice that had not experienced sleep deprivation,” it read.
According to experts, sleep deprivation leads to various effects on brain functioning — some of them are short term and some of them are long-lasting. “Lack of sleep can lead to reduced attention and concentration. Memory consolidation happens in sleep, so storage and retrieval of memory are affected. Sleep loss can lead to impaired decision-making and lack of emotional control. Accidents can happen due to impaired judgment while driving,” said Dr Shobha N, consultant neurologist and stroke physician, Manipal Hospital, Malleshwaram, Bangalore told The Indian Express (TIE).
- It worsens pre-existing neurologic conditions like migraine and epilepsy
- It can lead to mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
- It can make a person prone to chronic inflammatory neurologic and systemic diseases and lead to other chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia.
- Altered sleep patterns can lead to addiction and substance abuse.
- These factors make one more susceptible to cardiac ailments and strokes.
- It can cause neurodegenerative diseases like dementia and Parkinson’s disease.
What does your brain do while you’re sleeping?
During deep sleep, the brain performs essential functions, such as clearing out waste products and harmful proteins that accumulate throughout the day, Dr Vinit Banga, Associate Director, Neurology and head -Neurovascular Intervention Centre for Neuroscience, BLK Max Super Speciality Hospital told TIE. “Without proper sleep, this clearance process is impaired, potentially contributing to the development of neurodegenerative conditions,” he added.