It's general knowledge that poor sleeping habits lead to poor health quality. No one likes to miss out on precious few hours of sleep and neither does your brain. The effect lack of sleep leaves your body, and particularly your brain, can be detrimental. Here are some ways lack of sleep slowly kills your brain.
Sleep Deprivation Correlated to Brain Damage
It may sound like a bold claim that sleep deprivation is scientifically linked to brain damage and memory problems. There are cases where those with Alzheimer's or dementia report disturbances in their sleep or sleep disorders. Whether their dementia or Alzheimer's is caused by sleep problems or the other way around is still up for debate.
Lack of Sleep Leads to Memory Problems
There are some studies that collected data on people who either suffered from lack of sleep or had poor sleeping habits which reported that those people had memory problems in their later years. Not only is it bad for memory but lack of sleep can lead to poor cognitive functioning such as lack of concentration and focus.
Insomnia Could Cause Neurodegenerative Disorders
Those prone to sleep disorders such as insomnia have a higher likelihood of developing dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases towards the end of their life. Other sleeping disorders like Apnea are correlated with neurodegenerative disorders and reduced cognitive function, according to a few studies.
How Sleep Deprivation Attacks the Brain
Studies from Neurology journal have shown that sleep deprivation directly affects the brain's functioning by literally altering it. Those who spent less time with quality sleep were more likely to suffer brain atrophy. Those with disorders that prevented them from breathing well as they slept, like with Apnea, developed microinfarcts (brain damage pockets).
Why Sleep Deprivation Affects Cognitive Function and Memory
Science has attempted to explain why sleep deprivation is so much more dangerous to the brain's functioning than we realize. Along with causing interruptions in circadian rhythm, ceasing memory consolidation, and impeding melatonin uptake to the brain, sleep deprivation increases the concentrations of amyloid-β. These are all reasons that sleep deprivation is much more harmful than we are lead to believe.