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Sleep Disorders

13 August 2010

Lack of sleep can damage the brain

Less than four hours of sleep on five consecutive nights may affect the brain in a way similar to that of acute total sleep deprivation, a new study suggests.

Less than four hours of sleep on five consecutive nights may affect the brain in a way similar to that of acute total sleep deprivation, a new study suggests.

The rats' SWA measures showed that sleep restriction produced intense recovery sleep (longer and deeper sleep) following each wake cycle. The more effective the researchers were at keeping the rats awake during the 20 hours each day, the larger the rodents' sleep rebound.

 

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Dr Alison Bentley is a general practitioner who has consulted in sleep medicine and sleep disorders, in both adults and children of all ages, for almost 30 years. She also researches and publishes on a number of sleep-related topics both in formal research journals and lay publications including as editor of Sleep Matters, an educational newsletter on sleep disorders for doctors.

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