Does Your Brain Eat Itself Away When You Haven’t Got Enough Sleep?

Does Your Brain Eat Itself Away When You Haven’t Got Enough Sleep?

The power of getting enough sleep goes far beyond replenishing and refreshing your mind. It also possesses the power to clear out the toxic byproducts that are left behind after the entire day. However, when you are affected by sleep deprivation and trying to get some good sleep, you are actually causing harm to your brain. A new study conducted by researchers shows how a lack of sleep can cause your other brain cells to eat away your brain’s synapses.

A group of neuroscientists at the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy conducted their research on a group of mice. The study enabled the mice to receive varied hours of sleep, ranging between eight hours of sleep daily to no sleep for five days straight. The brain performs certain positive activities while we are asleep. The glial cells or the astrocytes clear out the brain of synapses and rejuvenate it. It destroys the old cells via the process called phagocytosis. The brain removes unnecessary and irrelevant parts and makes room for new memories.

The situation completely switches up when we stay awake. It goes into overdrive mode and starts making the brain its victim and hurts it. The study concluded that sleep-deprived mice when compared with well-rested mice had greater numbers of destroyed astrocytes. An estimate by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 40 percent of Americans get only six or less than six hours of sleep daily. A surprising 40.6 million adults are causing harm to the brain by not getting adequate sleep. According to Michele Bellesi of the research, the synapses are like “old pieces of furniture, and so probably need more attention and cleaning,”

Therefore, it can be concluded that it is extremely crucial to get the pending amount of sleep in order to prevent our brain from eating itself up. The researchers are trying to find out ways to deduce how long the effects of sleep deprivation actually last.

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