Thursday, August 30, 2007

YOU NEED SLEEP! (or...if you won't listen to me, then maybe you will listen to this...)

Effects on the brain

Sleep deprivation can adversely affect brain function. A 2000 study, by the UCSD School of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System in San Diego, used functional magnetic resonance imaging technology to monitor activity in the brains of sleep-deprived subjects performing simple verbal learning tasks. The study showed that regions of the brain's prefrontal cortex displayed more activity in sleepier subjects. Depending on the task at hand, the brain would sometimes attempt to compensate for the adverse effects caused by lack of sleep. The temporal lobe, which is a brain region involved in language processing, was activated during verbal learning in rested subjects but not in sleep deprived subjects. The parietal lobe, not activated in rested subjects during the verbal exercise, was more active when the subjects were deprived of sleep. Although memory performance was less efficient with sleep deprivation, greater activity in the parietal region was associated with better memory.

A 2001 Study at Harvard's Medical Institute suggested that sleep deprivation may be linked to more serious diseases, such as heart disease.

Animal studies suggest that sleep deprivation increases stress hormones, which may reduce new cell production in adult brains.

Impairment of ability

According to a 2000 study published in the British scientific journal, researchers in Australia and New Zealand reported that sleep deprivation can have some of the same hazardous effects as being drunk. People who drove after being awake for 17–19 hours performed worse than those with a blood alcohol level of .05 percent, which is the legal limit for drunk driving in most western European countries (the U.S. and UK set their blood alcohol limits at .08 percent). In addition, as a result of continuous muscular activity without proper rest time, effects such as cramping are much more frequent in sleep-deprived individuals. Extreme cases of sleep deprivation have been reported to be associated with hernias, muscle fascia tears, and other such problems commonly associated with physical overexertion. Beyond impaired motor skills, people who get too little sleep may have higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression, and may take unnecessary risks. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 100,000 traffic accidents each year are caused by fatigue and drowsiness. A new study has shown that while total sleep deprivation for one night caused many errors, the errors were not significant until after the second night of total sleep deprivation.

The response latency seem to be higher when it comes to actions regarding personal moral rather than in situations when morality is not in question. The willingness to violate a personal belief has been shown to be moderated by EQ, so people with high EQ are effected less by sleep deprivation in such situations.


Several large studies using nationally representative samples suggest that the obesity epidemic in Europe and the United States might have as one of its causes a corresponding decrease in the average number of hours that people are sleeping. The findings suggests that this might be happening because sleep deprivation might be disrupting hormones that regulate glucose metabolism and appetite.The association between sleep deprivation and obesity appears to be strongest in young and middle-age adults. Other scientists hold that the physical discomfort of obesity and related problems, such as sleep apnea, reduce an individual's chances of getting a good night's sleep.

(((03))) via Wiki


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