How does sleep affect the brain?

Without sleep, you can't form or maintain the pathways in your brain that allow you to learn and create new memories, and it's harder to concentrate and respond quickly. Sleep is important for several brain functions, including how nerve cells (neurons) communicate with each other. This is how sleep affects the brain. During sleep, brain waves slow down and the body cools.

Secretions of melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleep, also increase. Meanwhile, neurotransmitters that promote wakefulness decrease and neurotransmitters that promote sleep take over, sending you to sleep stages where brain waves are reduced in frequency but increase in amplitude, or to non-REM sleep. This is followed by REM sleep, where brain waves increase in activity, accompanied by the rapid eye movements that give it its name. Bad sleep could affect the brain in another way.

Sleep-deprived mice develop more deposits of a protein called amyloid beta in the brain compared to mice that are allowed to sleep normally. In humans, beta-amyloid deposits in the brain are linked to decreased memory and thinking, and also increase the risk of dementia. We've all had late or sleepless nights, and most of us probably consider it completely harmless, even though we know from experience that losing sleep has dramatic effects on our mental abilities and well-being. Lack of sleep makes us moody and irritable, and impairs brain functions, such as memory and decision-making.

It also negatively affects the rest of the body: it impairs the functioning of the immune system, for example, making us more susceptible to infections. Subjects woke up four times during the night to solve anagram puzzles, twice during NREM sleep and twice during REM sleep. Exercise definitely helps, I've never met anyone who does physical work all day who has trouble falling asleep. Partial lack of sleep has also been found to affect your ability to concentrate and pay attention to detail.

Brain cells need a lot of oxygen and sugar, so blood flow problems could affect their ability to function properly. Finally, lack of sleep or poor quality of sleep can also lead to an increased risk of infections and a weaker response to vaccines. He told Live Science that without good quality sleep, the brain and body are no longer able to operate at their optimal level. Researchers and doctors now agree that good sleep hygiene is a mainstay of the neuroprotective lifestyle, and there is compelling evidence that improving sleep can have enormous benefits for overall well-being.

So why is sleep so important for test scores? While the answer seems simple, that students simply perform better when they are not mentally or physically tired, the truth can be much more complicated and interesting. You don't have to fall asleep at the wheel to be a danger; sleepiness alone can be as dangerous as drunk driving. The space between brain cells expands significantly during sleep, making it easier to remove dirt through cerebrospinal fluid. Getting enough rest helps you process new information once you wake up, and sleeping after learning can consolidate this information into memories, allowing you to store it in your brain.

Everyone should strive to achieve the optimal amount of nighttime sleep, as too little or too much can have negative repercussions. .