How Sleeping Less Damages Your Brain

4년 전

Everyone knows that we can’t function without sleep every day. Yet, we sometimes take our sleep for granted despite its immutable importance for our health. Unlike charging our electronic devices, sleeping isn’t only recharging our body to function for the rest of the day. In fact, sleeping includes several complex processes that take place inside our body to make us capable of living through another day. While we are resting in our sleep, our brain works really hard to make sure that we are prepared for the next day.

The following reasons will highlight why we need sleep, and what happens to our brain when we deprive ourselves off from sleep.

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  • Memory Building

Whatever we do throughout the day contributes to making new connections between our neurons. These connections or bindings are also called Synapses, which helps the transmission of electric and chemical signals in our brain. A memory that our brain holds is a combination of different synapses that we develop during the day. Sleeping helps to solidify these connections between neurons and trim back the ones that aren’t worth saving, as our brain knows what things are important to remember and what is not. By this process, we are able to hold on to a memory for longer.

In simple words, sleeping will help remember what you learned during the day that you consider is important, as the brain amalgamates the memories that are required. It also helps to get rid of negative memories and thoughts, which simply helps protect people from falling into depression. Without sleep, we will not be able to make strong synapses in our brain and make our memory effective.

  • Toxin Wash-off

During the day due to breakdown and consumption of energy, our body is left with a lot of waste and toxins that needs to be cleaned out. Similarly, in our brain some toxins are developed that must be removed and washed off. This process takes place much more rapidly during the night when we sleep, as our brain is flushed with a fluid form our lymphatic system that literally washes off the toxins from our brain and helps it refresh. This process is enhanced by the expansion of spaces between our brain cells while we are sleeping, which makes the washing more effective. The gunk that is cleared through the process is the same as the one involved in Alzheimer’s disease. Without sleep, this process will be halted.

  • Essential for cognition

We all know how our brain can make us feel disoriented, inattentive, indecisive, confused and dazed without having a proper sleep. However, the reasons for our cognitive capacities to diminish are quite far-stretched. Due to sleep deprivation, our cortical function will diminish, which enables us to multi-task. Therefore, we will probably perform poorly in any multi-tasking activities, such as driving which makes use of our eyes, feet, hands, ears brain, and a lot of decision making power. Our short-term memory (working memory), our attention and other cognitive functions are also affected due to sleep deprivation. Continuous lack of sleep each night for as little as two weeks can reduce the neurobehavioral power of a person.

  • Improves Creativity

We need creative thinking in several aspects of life, and it is considered as one of the essential skills that one must possess. Some people are more creative than others. However, it also has something to do with your sleeping pattern. With insufficient sleep, a person fails to be more creative in thinking and imagination. Rather than thinking in different directions, thinking out of the box and making use of their imagination, sleep-deprived people would rather only be able to state what they already know. According to a research, people were not able to perform up to the mark in terms of fluency and originality after being awake for one and a half day.

  • Fights Depression

There is a strong connection between depression and sleep deprivation, people who don’t get enough sleep are usually at higher risk of falling into depression. This seems to work both ways since once a person starts suffering from depression he finds it even harder to sleep. Sleeping less and sleeping more, both can lead a person into depression. Insomniacs are generally more likely to be anxious and depressed.

  • Health

Just like it protects our body, sleeping also helps our brain strengthen, become healthy and fight any possible diseases. There are several health risks to the body due to sleep deprivation. On the other hand, people who sleep longer are twice as likely to develop the condition of dementia.

  • Hallucinations

Sleep deprivation for longer periods can ultimately take a form of diseases. It has also been attributed to the causation of hallucinations and perception of things that don’t exist. Lack of sleep can show same symptoms that are experienced with a mental illness or a disease, like paranoid ideas and disoriented behavior.

  • Tired and Emotional

Lack of sleep can leave a person mentally tired and emotional. People with sleep deprivation experienced that they cried more often and felt negative emotions more often to a more extreme level i.e. feelings of anger, hatred, vengeance and frustration. Sleep deprivation can also make the person get involved in suicidal thoughts and approach.


It may seem like it’s not a big deal to miss an hour or two from our sleep here and there. However, there are major consequences of sleep deprivation if we practice these habits in a longer run. It’s very important to understand the importance of sleep in our health and remain aware of all the dangers we may expose ourselves to by messing up with our sleep.

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A fresh warning to control my sleeping hours. :)

We don't get to see the effects very early and it is one of the reasons that we don't realize many things before time but yeah what I have noticed from my expoereince that I will have pain in my head if I didn't have the proper/full sleep.

Heart failures:
My story: last year i was working SO hard and my sleep routine was about 4-6 hours a day.

I had pain in right shoulder and ignored it, and i had a heart failure in the end (small attack)

I dont smoke and dont drink alcohol and my bmi was ideal!
The doctor asked for my sleeping routine and... bingo!

I just healed by sleeping more and a very light Tranquilizer

Oooo noo... After reading this article i'lltry to sleep early... You share v nice information with us, followed you boss. Thanks for this useful post.

I get so overemotional and temperamental when I don't get enough sleep so I always know when I need to get more sleep because I am cranky. I tend to eat a lot more too when I am too tired, which isn't a good thing. And I start to crave sugar like you wouldn't believe because I am just trying to stay awake. Thanks so much for sharing!

Thanks for this @steemhealthcare.

This is a reminder posts. I love your points, especially on how it affects cognition and creativity.

I learnt about the importance of sleep in a very bad way.

We had a film shoot while i was in the varsity which i happened to be the producer. We were on a tight budget and many things didn't go according to plan on set. I ended up not sleeping for three full days.

As at the fourth day i was almost running mad literaly and all my senses were looking like shutting down. I lost all my cognition and sense of awareness.

I slept for whole three days, only waking up to eat and bath.

It was then i know the importance of sleep

Also though you can not forget different people require different levels of sleep. So unfortunately it is hard to tell what is a good amount of sleep.

For me when I feel the most refreshed a lot of my friends would consider not that much sleep.

Very informative post! I can a big difference in my mood and attentiveness if I miss even an hour of sleep! I have to fight to get my 7 hours (I know I could really use 8). After gettting home from work, making dinner, and tending to the kids...sometimes I just can’t wind down! It’s funny how little we appreciate sleep as kids. I have to fight my kids at nap time and bedtime...meanwhile, I would love a nice long nap!

Actually i'm having less sleep. The maximum i sleep is 4 hours, but most times i take rest or sleep for 3 hours a day. I spend most of the time blogging and watching movies till late in the night yet i wake up very early to report at work, I think i'm exposed to brain damage. What can i do?

les confieso que a mi siempre me ha gustado dormir,, jajaj ...desde pequeña sabia que tenia tantos beneficios ..gracias...

Of course, sleep is good for our health!

If you let me I would like to make a contribution. Sleep is important for regulation of immune system. Leukocytes have important role for inflammation. It also damages some self-proteins in body during autoimmune disease. Unefficient sleep leads to reduce ability of leukocytes defending body against infections. In addition it can effect process of mechanism of autoimmune diseases.

You have no idea how no sleeping can affect your emotions and your though on a long term run. Indeed I tried to sleep only 1 days one three druing a few weeks and it did not end up well.

Wow ....very beautiful photography and nice moment boss@steemhealthcare.....Very good information ....Thanks for sharing

Wow....Really sleep is good for our health @steemhealthcare...I will respect you....It's a good information sir.....

Me encanto este artículo. Tengo el mal Hábito de acostarme muy tarde en la noche. ¡Quisiera que el día tuviera más de 24 horas!, pero la realidad es que no es así, hay que establecer prioridades y entre ellas está el de respetar nuestras horas de sueño. Tú artículo es un incentivo para corregir y mejorar. Muchas gracias por compartir a la comunidad de Steemit

Great post! It is a problem most adults have. I think there just isn't the same kind of awareness of the negative health effects of lack of sleep as there is about bad nutrition. It seems like most people have an idea about what they should and should not put in their bodies but most people don't understand how helpful sleep is to their health.

I love how you are bringing awareness about the health effects on sleep and it is greatly appreciated! :)

upvote and follow from me!

indeed good sleep is necessary

Great post! Some of these I knew beforehand, but I had no clue about sleep improving creativity. Though, now when I think about it, it makes sense. This was a good reminder of the importance of sleep, thanks for sharing! :)

Thanks for your post. @sreemhealthcare. This topic is very interesting. It is very important to understand the importance of sleep in our health and to be aware of all the dangers that we expose ourselves to playing with our dream. Not sleeping the right time causes us stress that is why we walk with an intense pain in the neck . in the back and also in the head. Let's take the time for our rest. If I sleep well I have good health. .

Great post on the importance of sleep.
However, my only criticism is it is not just duration but also quality of sleep.
Some people sleep many hours and never restful while others sleep 6 but spend the entire time in deep sleep.