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Are you a Workaholic ? A sleep-deprived brain slowly turns on itself : Study

As a busy, on-the-go professional, if you have been compromising on sleep so that you could get more work awake, ( banking on your own inherent internal strength to drive you regardless of the increasingly tiring days), now would be a good time to put a final stop to it. In fact, there wouldnot be a better time. First, a bit about how sleeplessness is slowly gnawing away at that productivity bar that you were pushing all day.

A very recent study reiterates what we have been thinking all along. Led by the University of Adelaide’s Professor Robert Adams for the Sleep Health Foundation, the study found 33 to 45% of adults sleep either poorly or not long enough most nights, leaving them to face the new day with fatigue, irritability and other side effects of sleep deprivation. The study also turned the spotlight on an abnormal usage of the internet just before dropping off to sleep, particularly among women. On of the conclusions of the study was the comparative numbers from the last one by the Foundation in 2010, the current situation is 5-10% worse than it was then. It is not just Australia. In UK, sleeplessness and the associated lack of productivity – is costing the UK economy over £1 billion a year, according to a study from Benson Beds.

One couldn’t expect more from the planet’s finest organic central processing unit, pushed to its limit and beyond, by lifestyle choices and the increasing dependence on gadgets that virtually seem to bring people closer by spending more time on them, in a vicious circle. Sleeplessness, can cause parts of the brain’s synapses to be ‘eaten’ by other brain cells, according to a new study by researchers at the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy.

According to the study, astrocytes – the ‘cleaning-crew’ cells in the brain, were found to be more active in lab mice when the animals had been deprived of sleep, breaking down more of the brain’s connections. A more worrying finding was that ‘microglial’ brain cells, which seek out damaged cells and debris, were also more active in brain experiencing chronic sleep deprivation. Earlier studies have also shown that the lack of sleep could lead to Alzheimer’s Disease as it could increase the “silting up” of the brain, according the the scientists who conducted the study.

It pays to have a good night’s sleep. Our health solely depend on it.

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