Study Shows Being Sleep-Deprived And Drunk May Influence Our Brain Equally
There are times when we doze off on desks and feel cranky—obviously, it is because of being sleep deprived. But this doesn’t stop here, it has lot more to do. Yes, lack of sleep can also weaken the vital communications between the brain’s neurons, as per a new study.
The researchers say that this weakening in the signaling network of the brain can result in memory lapses and problems focusing, and in some ways is equivalent to being drunk. The team that conducted the study wants to the issue of sleep deprivation to be taken more alarmingly, both in the damage it can do to our own body and the threats that we might be inciting when we drive or do our everyday chores.
Itzhak Fried, Lead Researcher, UCLA, said, “We found that making the body starve of sleep also takes away the ability of neurons to function appropriately. This results in cognitive lapses in how we see and respond to the world around us.”
Twelve patients were studied by Fried and team that were preparing to have epilepsy surgery, means their brains had been placed with electrodes already to attempt and identify the seizure locations prior to their operations.
Each study participant was asked to sort a sequence of pictures as rapidly as doable, while the team evaluated the neurons’ firing within the brain. Altogether, the activity of approximately 1,500 brain cells was logged across the 12 volunteers.
Particular consideration was given to the temporal lobe neurons, where visual memory and visual perception are handled. The study discovered that as volunteers got more weary, the activity of neuron firing plummeted and lost strength.
The scans recommended a lack of sleep was meddling with the ability of neurons to decipher what was being perceived into logical thoughts, similar to the manner that a tired driver takes a minute to respond to a walker moving out into the street.
The team also observed sleep-like waves interrupting the brain regions, almost as if particular regions were dozing off and leading to mental falls of attentiveness, while other brain parts carried on functioning as normal.
It is imperative to note down that a sample size of 12 is an extremely diminutive one, and we should be careful about hypothesizing these findings across the wider population till we have more information to look at.
Nevertheless, the connection between road traffic accidents and tiredness is not a new one. It is anticipated that thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths across the world are caused every year because of drivers dozing off while driving and not being capable of responding fast enough.