Health Headlines: Effects of sleep deprivation

Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 7:40 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - In the past, scientists thought that you could make up for lost sleep. But new research is showing that not getting enough rest isn’t a debt you can repay.

A new review published in the journal Trends in Neurosciences found that sleep deprivation in mice led to cell death in the brain after just a few days. It also caused inflammation in the prefrontal cortex and increased levels of proteins linked to diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Leandre Schoeman is a certified sleep consultant who says, “Sleep is the VIP service everybody needs. Regardless of age, sleep is so important to our system. It affects basically every area of our life.”

If you’re struggling to squeeze in enough sleep, try to set a schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day and make sure your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet. Try not to take naps after 3 p.m. or naps longer than 20 minutes. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol throughout the day can also help.

If you can’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, get up and do something calming like reading. And if you’re really struggling, talk to your doctor about medication options.

As for the mice that had been sleep deprived in the study, researchers say they still suffered damage even after a full year of regular sleep. That suggests that you can’t undo the effects of sleep deprivation.