One of the most important functions of the human body much like breathing and eating is sleep. However we tend to push this one to its limits thinking we can just catch a few extra zzz’s over the weekend and the everything will be fine. However that is not quite the case.
When you feel particularly exhausted, it can definitely feel like you are also lacking in brain capacity. Now, a new study has suggested this could be because chronic sleep deprivation can actually cause the brain to eat itself. This process may be part of the brain preforming 'maintanince' however extended periods without sleep is a cause to worry.
Too little sleep disrupts the neural pathways that allow information to travel smoothly from one area of your brain to another. When you go about your daily life functioning on insufficient sleep it causes your thoughts to slow down. It is like a train being diverted onto the wrong set of tracks and taking the slow route to town. This leads to slower decision-making and problem solving. Even a relatively small (2-3 hours) loss of sleep leads to the fall in mood and mental performance.
A lack of sleep also drops your immunity making you more vulnerable to getting sick. As well as a chronic lack of sleep increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other neurological disorders.
A single night deprived of sleep affects the brain's ability to memorise new information, it drops significantly. To help the brain function properly, you should get a minimum of 6 hours of quality sleep each night. Time spent sleeping is an essential investment towards being smarter, making better decisions, and leading a happier and healthier life.