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4 ways in which lack of sleep changes your brain

4 ways in which lack of sleep changes your brain
Quick Bites
  • Sleep deprivation is one of the common causes of dementia.
  • It may cause brain to malfunction due to lack of blood.
  • Our stress threshold lowers with lack of sleep.

Work and social life keeps us so busy that we don’t find enough waking hours to finish what we had planned for the day. This leads to reduced sleeping hours in a quest to finish more work in the limited time that we have. This might occasionally be productive, but mind you, sleep deprivation, and one that is regular, isn’t healthy.



You might have read and heard that lack of sleep affects our physical and health. Quick reminder: It makes us sluggish, causes uncontrollable weight loss or gain, and causes health troubles like diabetes. According to a neurologist at the University of Minnesota, sleep deprivation not only affects the physical wellbeing, but it also causes our brain to suffer and could make us experience the following side effects:

Fastens ageing

Sleep deprivation isn’t just a cause of fatal diseases and obesity, but dementia too. If you aren’t sleeping well for longer periods of time, it could even lead to your death. When you sleep less, your metabolism doesn’t function properly and your body ages faster.

Decreases brain’s processing power

Lack of sleep drives your brain to malfunction because blood flow decreases in the frontal lobe. When this happens, you can feel lost like a teenager because of the slowing down of your brain waves. This affects our decision making process and we may find it difficult to think clearly.

Reduces brain cleansing process 

An active brain is like a busy machine and it gets dirty too. When we sleep, the cerebrospinal fluid gets rid of the “dirt” from the brain and sends it to the liver to flush it out. Not sleeping enough causes our brain to stay filthy which does not equate to being healthy.

Shrinks brain size

A 2014 study done by University of Oxford in Britain showed a relation between sleeplessness and deterioration of various regions of the brain like frontal temporal and parietal areas. Researchers studied 147 people whose brain volume to sleeping problems. The findings showed that one third of the participants met the definition of poor sleep quality.

Multiplies stress

Tiredness and sluggishness make routine chores feel overwhelming. Imagine if you had to so your groceries, walk your dog, or drive home from work, when actually you just want to be catch some Zzz’s. This stress could build on and get chronic to take the face of depression.
If you are one of those who don’t value sleep, know that you are putting your mental and physical capacities at risk. Sleep isn’t a luxury; it is a necessity. If you want an improved memory, insight, learning and capability, sleep enough- 8 full hours and sleep sound.

Image source: Pixabay

Written by
Ariba Khaliq
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial teamAug 30, 2017

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