RSS Feed

Category Archives: Healthy Brain

What Happens to Your Body When It’s Deprived of Sleep?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We all know how it feels to have a restless night. You feel irritable, dizzy, and unfocused throughout the next day. But when you are chronically sleep deprived, it can be seriously detrimental to your health. It can affect your body in many ways and in several different places.

 belly-2354_640

Body Fat- People who get only a few hours of sleep per night tend to have more body fat than those who get a full night’s rest. The lack of sleep/energy is compensated for the following day by consuming extra calories.

 Stomach

Stomach- Lack of sleep leads to a lower production of leptin, a hormone that regulates hunger and the storage of fat.

 20051227_bike_03

Motor Skills- After being awake for an extended period of time, you will notice a loss of precision in your motor skills. There is a delayed reaction from your brain in signaling a physical response.

 Blood_pressure_measurement_(2009)

Blood Pressure- Someone who sleeps very little on a regular basis will have much higher blood pressure than if they slept more. This is due to increased amounts of cortisol, a hormone that is released in response to stress.

1836553797_192448a65f_z

Pancreas- People who are regularly deprived of sleep are twice as likely to develop diabetes, regardless of age or fitness level. The regulation of other hormone production is disrupted as well.

 Heart_(more_red)

Heart- Cardiovascular issues tend to develop in a large portion of people who have chronic sleep problems. The issues can range from weak or abnormal heartbeats to clogged arteries, or even cardiac arrest.

 Brain_picture

Brain- In a period of just a few days, you can damage and kill brain cells by not getting enough sleep at night. Without precious sleep, your brain cannot rid itself of proteins that cause plaque build-up. Over time, this plaque can cause dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

To learn more about the physical effects of sleep deprivation, check out this article by Arianne Cohen, called 7 Physical Effects of Sleep Deprivation, from the Psyche section of Details.

 

 

Take Sleep Seriously!

Meet Russell Foster, a circadian neuroscientist who studies sleep patterns in the brain. In the following video, he speaks about a range of topics relating to the importance of sleep.

He first describes three theories on the main function of sleep, as well as which theory he subscribes to. He then discusses what happens to a person (and the person’s brain) when sleep is lacking, as well as ideas about how to improve sleep quality and duration. Foster debunks some common myths and misconceptions about sleep, then speaks about the correlation between mental health and sleep disruption. He urges people to take sleep more seriously and realize the huge role that it plays in making us happy and healthy.

Watch to learn more:

Why Do We Dream?

Dreams are a very mysterious nightly phenomenon. We can only speculate on the purpose of dreams, but they are usually extraordinary in nature and a bit confusing to analyze. Why is it that most of the time we forget what we dreamt about as soon as we wake? Why are our accounts of dreams often unreliable or distorted?

The following video delves into theories about REM sleep and how important it is for forming and storing memories. It also discusses lucid dreams, sleepwalking, and a theory behind why we have so many negative feelings like anxiety and anger while dreaming.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GGzc3x9WJU

What Causes Us to Yawn?

Conventionally we think of yawning as a mechanism for getting oxygen to our brains when we’re running low. However, research and testing shows that the brain is not found to be lacking in oxygen prior to a yawn. So if your brain is not responding to low levels of oxygen during a yawn, what is the reason for this odd but natural action? And why do yawns seem to be contagious?

The following video sheds some light on the most recent theories and evidence.

Try to contain your yawning while watching it!

Why Your Brain Needs Sleep

Posted on

Many scientists have studied sleep and why it is that we devote so much of our time to sleeping. New evidence from a recent study by Maiken Nedergaaed and colleagues at the University of Rochester in New York has refreshed a long-held hypothesis that during sleep the brain cleans itself. The scientists studied mice to find that sleep allows fluids to easily run through the brain and clean out metabolic toxins, essentially cleaning the brain of garbage. Check out this video from D News about the study and it’s findings.  

Make sure you get your sleep so you can dump the junk from your brain!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 524 other followers