Sleep deprivation causes the brain to eat itself – for real!

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How does the brain respond to poor sleep habits? It literally eats itself. To put it simply, when you're well-rested, your brain gets busy repairing itself, and part of that is dumping unnecessary data. When you're tired, your brain can't decide what is "unnecessary" and what isn't - so it dumps it all.

New research outlines exactly how this happens. The two cells responsible for ‘dumping trash’ while we sleep are the microglial cells and the astrocytes. In the well-rested, these cells devour and prune to help keep the brain fresh and efficient in processing and storing information and clear away the toxic byproducts of neural activity left behind during the day.
In the chronically sleep-deprived, however, these cells appear to become undiscerning murderers who take out both useful and useless connections.

As reported on Science Alert: “Researchers have found that persistently poor sleep causes the brain to clear a significant amount of neurons and synaptic connections, and recovering sleep might not be able to reverse the damage”.

This explains why after just one night of insufficient sleep we lose memory, judgment and self-control.

Make sleep a priority and save yourself from self-digestion. After all, you really can’t cheat sleep. If it's time to get a new mattress, check out the range of Sealy mattresses here.

Article written by Roxanne Atkinson

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