Sleep to Protect Your Brain

Want to prevent brain loss—and anxiety, overeating, and a bunch of chronic diseases? Don’t skip a night of sleep.

A new study (pdf warning) out of Sweden suggests that just one night of sleep deprivation might cause you some brain damage. Scientists had fifteen normal weight adults skip a night of sleep and then submit a blood sample. This was compared to a blood sample taken after a night of eight hours of sleep.

They found that the sleep-deprived blood samples contained higher amounts of NSE and S-100B. According to lead researcher Christian Benedict, “These brain molecules typically rise in blood under conditions of brain damage. Thus, our results indicate that a lack of sleep may promote neurodegenerative processes.”

So: get some sleep.



Sleeping Man sculpture by Ron Mueck.

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