Lack of sleep can cause mental lapses similar to alcohol intoxication
Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles has made us to believe that sleep deprivation may disturb brain cells and trigger temporary mental lapses that affect memory and visual perception, according to a recent study from researchers.
In the research, 12 patients with epilepsy were analyzed who were preparing to undergo surgery to implant electrodes in their brains to find the source of their seizures. Participants remained awake all night prior to surgery because a lack of sleep can prompt epileptic episodes. The patients were asked to categorize a variety of images as quickly as possible while electrodes measured their brain cell activity during their responses.
The researchers noted that sleep deprivation can affect the brain in similar ways as intoxication from alcohol.
From the research, the senior study author said; “We discovered that starving the body of sleep also robs neurons of the ability to function properly,” Dr. Itzhak Fried, the study’s senior author and a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Tel Aviv University, said in a Nov. 6 press release. “This leads to cognitive lapses in how we perceive and react to the world around us.”
You can get full a copy of the study here