What Happens to Your Brain When You're High?
What Happens to Your Brain When You're Sleep-Deprived Is Actually Terrifying
Researchers split lab mice into four different groups. First was the "well-rested group," which slept for six to eight hours a day. The next group of mice were allowed to sleep, though they were periodically woken up throughout. The third group stayed awake for an extra eight hours before getting to rest, and finally, the fourth group was kept completely awake for five days straight.
After this period, the researchers studied each group's brain activity.They found that the process of phagocytosis "increased after both acute and chronic sleep loss relative to sleep and wake." What is phagocytosis, you ask? Phagocytes are specialized cells that engulf (aka eat) other cells and materials. Our brains need phagocytes in order to "clear away the toxic byproducts of neural activity from the day." The issue is, that after sleep deprivation is involved, the brain kicks the process into overdrive, which can be harmful. "These results suggest that chronic sleep loss … may predispose the brain to further damage," the report states.
This is scary stuff, but don't panic if your sleep schedule isn't in tip top shape. Instead, use this information as motivation to establish a consistent bed time routine.
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