Sleep Deprivation May Lead to Damage to Brain Tissue

There is new evidence that suggests sleep deprived brains may be more susceptible to damage in brain tissue.  In a study conducted by researchers from Uppsala University in Sweden it was found that two types of chemicals that are present in high concentrations in the brain were found in the blood after a night of sleep deprivation. The presence of the NSE and S-100B chemicals is usually found after brain damage has occurred. While many studies have analyzed brain health and its correlation to sleep, this study has confirmed just one more way “that a good night’s sleep may be critical for maintaining brain health” says Christian Benedict, the leader of the study.

Perhaps the most groundbreaking finding of this study is that not sleeping for even just one night could affect brain tissue in a way similar to head injury. It is worth noting that levels of elevation would be higher in someone that had experienced a trauma as significant as a concussion. This can explain the result of reduced motor functions and impaired memory that has been linked to sleep deprivation in previous studies. Benedict states, “Our results indicate a lack of sleep may promote neurodegenerative processes.”

This can be significant for young adults pulling all-nighters to study for an exam or workaholics that work through the night to get a big assignment done. Benedict also adds, “This research could support studies have linked sleep deprivation with increased risk of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis.”

The study only included a population of 15 men in their early-20s. They kept a regular sleep pattern of 8 hours a night and then were deprived of sleep for one night. The elevated levels of the molecules were present in a blood test after deprivation. There is room for more research to be conducted on this issue, including different populations, larger samples of people, and more.

The National Sleep Foundation says that about 20% of Americans report getting 6 hours of sleep or less per night. If you are concerned about your sleep patterns and the long-term impact of poor sleep on your health and brain, contact Fusion Sleep today. Our experts can discuss you concerns, evaluate your sleep, and work to improve your patterns.