Sleep deprivation effects your health in many ways as you are in simple terms limiting the body's ability to regroup, relax and replenish. This is the first of a number of articles which will look at the different effects on the body which a sleepless night can have. Firstly we will look at the worrying effects which sleep deprivation can have on your brain.
Effects on the brain
It will come as no surprise to those who do suffer from sleep deprivation that the effect on the brain and the body's ability to move around and think straight can be immense. A study in America back in 2001 showed that a lack of sleep has been known to bring on psychosis (or other psychiatric conditions) simply by reducing the brain's ability to link events and actions with the emotion, something which is paramount and central to an array of psychiatric conditions.
On a more basic level, a study in 2000 monitored those with sleep deprivation and those with normal sleep patterns when asked simple questions during the daytime. It was found that the brains of those with sleeping difficulties were forced to work "overtime" to make up for the general lack of alertness and awareness. There was a very stark difference between brain power and brain use for those with traditional sleeping patterns and those with just a few hours rest. This may be one reason why those who feel tired all the time do eventually have difficulties with memory loss.
However, perhaps the most worrying study with regards to effects of reduced sleep on the brain came in 2002 at the University of California. REM sleep (rapid eye movement sleep) is vital to allow the body to relax and effectively switch off but for those who only get a few hours sleep each evening a lack of REM sleep has been shown to affect the repair and growth of adult brains.
There is no doubt that sleep deprivation effects many areas of everyday life, your body and your mind and the fact that the body is unable to repair itself due to reduced sleeping patterns is a significant concern. If you have any issues then you should take action before it may be too late.