The sleep pattern that linked to mental disability.
Most busy people have fewer or shorter sleep every day. But it is not a healthy sleep pattern.
In fact, many studies found that sleep deprivation may have a negative effect on cognition.
The common finding is that lack of sleep is associated with poor concentration.
However, one study revealed that deprivation could induce a more problematic mental issue.
The new study found that a night without sleep is linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
Lack of sleep increases the amount of protein in the brain similar to those who have Alzheimer’s disease.
The level of beta-amyloid (a bundle of protein) in the brain increases when a person did not sleep for one night.
And as the beta-amyloid builds up, the brain functioning could be affected.
The researchers believe that one night of sleep deprivation could potentially affect the mental health.
The first author of the study, Dr. Ehsan Shokri-Kojori concluded:
“We certainly show that even one night of sleep deprivation can increase the levels of these harmful beta-amyloid compounds.
That’s a very logical assumption, I would say, and it’s consistent with prior research.”
The study involved twenty healthy participants. They then instructed to have a normal amount of sleep for one night.
On the second night, they were not allowed to sleep. The impact of this sleep pattern was captured by a brain scan.
The researchers noticed a significant increase in protein level in the participants’ brain. The increase happens in a certain area of the brain related to memory and other mental processes.
Dr. Ehsan Shokri-Kojori added:
“… the beta amyloid increases were observed in regions of the brain important to memory and thought.
These included the hippocampus, which has been tied to memory, and the thalamus, which is an important hub for relaying sensory information to the brain.”
Sleep pattern has many functions in the brain. For instance, as we sleep, the brain cleanses itself. It clears out the wastes produced during wakefulness.
Thus, sleep deprivation disables the brain from clearing itself.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.