You’ve probably experienced lethargy and tiredness after a night of too little sleep. However, poor sleep habits may have greater consequences than just feeling tired and listless the next day. Research into sleeping indicates that the amount of rest we get each night is more important than we thought.
In early 2017, scientists at Western University in Ontario performed a study that compared the brain activity of participants when they had a normal night’s sleep and had a reduced amount of rest. They were asked to play several brain-testing games and given an MRI scan while they were completing the tasks.
The results showed that people who were suffering from lack of sleep showed much less activity in the brain. Researchers also found that lack of sleep may be a major contributor for a number of psychiatric conditions, including depression, anxiety disorders, and ADHD. Until now, it was believed that poor sleep is just one of the symptoms.
In the long term, studies have shown that lack of sleep can contribute to several cognitive conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease.
Luckily, there’s a lot of advancement taking place in the field of neuroscience. We now have a better understanding of what’s going in our minds than ever before. Given that millions of people around the world suffer from some of form of sleep disorder, continued research will be essential to helping people have better sleep habits.
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