The ravages of sleep loss….

2088252449_5cbeef48dc_b.jpgI never was one to fret about my sleep debt, but I’ve always suspected there’s a sort of downward spiral I which bad sleep leads to worse sleep. Now I read,

“Humans and animals that have chronic sleep deprivation might reach a point at which the very ability to catch up on lost sleep is damaged, says Fred Turek, a sleep researcher at Northwestern University.”
Kathleen Fackelmann, “Study: Sleep deficit may be impossible to make up,” USA Today, Nov. 27, 2007
Read more…

The study:
“Repeated sleep restriction in rats leads to homeostatic and allostatic responses during recovery sleep,” Youngsoo Kim, Aaron D. Laposky, Bernard M. Bergmann, and Fred Turek http://www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/0610351104v1

As someone who always has trouble getting REM sleep—I can sleep for 2-3-4 hours and that’s it—I read with dismay that four days’ exposure to REM sleep deprivation suppressed cell proliferation (neurogenesis) in the hippocampus, an area of the brain associated with memory formation, by 63 percent. So that’s where my memory went!
McGinty, lead researcher on the study, says, “Several studies have shown that sleep contributes to brain plasticity in general, and to adult neurogenesis, in particular …Neurogenesis is a concrete example of brain plasticity, suppression of adult neurogenesis is thought to be important in pathologies such as depression…. This study showed that REM sleep has a critical role in facilitating brain plasticity… In other recent work, we have shown that sleep fragmentation can also suppress adult neurogenesis.”
“Four days of REM sleep deprivation affects forebrain, long-term memory in rats,” Science Daily, Feb. 6, 2008. Read more…

The study: “Rapid eye movement sleep deprivation contributes to reduction of neurogenesis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus of the adult rat,” Ruben Guzman-Marin, Natalia Suntsova, Tariq Bashir, Robert Nienhuis, Ronald Szymusia, Dennis McGinty, Sleep, February 1, 2008, 167-75

And this might explain why we’re on the verge of tears or tantrum, on sleep starved days:
“Lack of sleep sends emotions off the deep end,” Sharon Jayson, USA Today, Oct. 22, 2007

Matthew Walker, head of U.C. Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory and senior author of the study, had subjects stay up for 35 hours. He then showed them disturbing photographs, of mutilated bodies, children with tumors, a shark attack, etc, monitoring their responses with brain scans, using Magnetic Resource Imaging (fMRI). “The emotional centers of the brain were over 60 percent more reactive under conditions of sleep deprivation than in subjects who had obtained a normal night of sleep,” Walker reported. The amygdala, “the region of the brain that alerts the body to protect itself in times of danger, goes into overdrive on no sleep…[which] shuts down the prefontal cortex, which commands logical reasoning, and thus prevents the release of chemicals needed to calm down the fight-or-flight reflex,” explains Yasmin Anwar, “Sleep loss linked to psychiatric disorders,” UC Berkeley Press Release, Oct 22, 2007.
www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2007/10/22_sleeploss.shtml

“The emotional centers of the brain were over 60 percent more reactive under conditions of sleep deprivation than in subjects who had obtained a normal night of sleep.” “It’s almost as though, without sleep, the brain had reverted back to more primitive patterns of activity, in that it was unable to put emotional experiences into context and produce controlled, appropriate responses,” said Matthew Walker. “Neural link between sleep loss and psychiatric disorders,” TS-Si Medicine, Oct. 25, 2007.
http://ts-si.org/content/view/2634/992/

“We’ve been struggling with the battle between the chicken and egg question. Is it the psychiatric condition that’s causing the sleep impairment, or is it the sleep impairment that’s causing the psychiatric condition?” says Walker; “This is the first set of experiments that demonstrate that even healthy people’s brains mimic certain pathological psychiatric patterns when deprived of sleep….Now we’re closer to being able to look into whether the person has a psychiatric disease or a sleep disorder.”
Rose Hoban, “Sleep deprivation plays with our emotions,” NewsVOA.com, Nov. 2, 2007,

“Can a Lack of Sleep Cause Psychiatric Disorders?”
Study shows that sleep deprivation leads to a rewiring of the brain’s emotional circuitry
Nikhil Swaminathan, Scientific American, Oct. 23, 2007. Read more…

The study: “The human emotional brain without sleep—a prefrontal amygdala disconnect,” Current Biology, 2007, 17, 20, R877-8.

TS-Si – Reader Comments
Ms. Greene, who commented earlier, is the author of a major new book. A generalized citation is included below. Insomniac. Gayle Greene. …
ts-si.org/content/blogcategory/227/1118/

And another thing:

“In one of the largest epidemiologic studies of insomnia among adolescents ever conducted in the United States, this study allows for an estimation of the impact of chronic insomnia on future functioning of adolescents. Youths with insomnia, particularly chronic insomnia, are at greater risk of future somatic and especially psychological problems, the study found.”
Read more: Chronic Insomnia Can Predict Future Functioning Of Adolescents, Feb. 4, 2008

The study: “Persistence and chance in symptoms of insomnia among adolescents,” Robert Roberts, Catherine Roberts, Sleep, Feb. 1, 2008, 177-84

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2 comments

  1. Menopause is the time when women lose fertility. So it is a very dicflfuit period for them. This brings changes to their life. Thus they start to believe that they are getting older very quickly. Due to menopause, they experience some common effects. They also worry about these issues. As a result they suffer from insomnia. Hopefully this problem can be solved. This is also treated as a common side effect of menopause.Women feel a lot of grief in this period. They suffer from depression too. So they cannot sleep well at night and always worry about this. Physical symptoms, caused by menopause, are also responsible for this problem. Interruption while sleeping becomes disgusting and boring. However trying to take some steps to prevent these problems can help them. This attempt helps them to compare notes with other women who are also experiencing this problem.Insomnia can easily destroy the defense system of the body. As a result, virus, bacteria etc can easily attack the body. Getting sick become common phenomenon. It causes not only sickness, but also reduces thinking speed and productivity. In this time driving is not recommended, because women fall asleep easily. In order to avoid accident, they must be careful when they are affected by insomnia. Driving while drunk is similar to driving while tired. It is a serious problem. To avoid, this problem it is better to get a sleep remedy. Medication and natural, both types of sleep remedy are available. But it is better to use a natural remedy. One of the reasons is that natural remedies help to prevent insomnia as well as other symptoms that are caused by menopause. Another reason is that menopause insomnia is a natural problem. Nature is also enriched with remedies to cure these problems.There are some ways that help women to feel and sleep better. They should think about changing habits. They should eat healthy food because it is problem for health issues. Vegetables and fruits are very good for them. They should eat them regularly. Thus improving their diet will help them. Processed foods are not suitable for them. Avoiding these foods is a good idea.Women should not eat all the time. They must not eat before going to bed. This can cause interrupted sleeping. They can maintain a note of what they are eating in their daily life. They are allowed to have herbal tea and milk before bed.Physical exercise is very important. To lead a healthy life no one should deny physical exercise. Doing physical exercise is not hard. Women should do physical exercise by walking, riding on bike etc. They should make a plan and spend a little time for physical exercise.Most importantly, women have a lot of scope to improve their daily life to prevent insomnia. They will find new dimension by analyzing their daily life. If they can detect faults that go against the condition of keeping good health, they can avoid them easily. A little change of their life can bring happiness while reducing insomnia.There is no need to take drug or pill to sleep with insomnia. “Natural Sleep Made Simple” can help them in this case. Trying to sleep naturally is the best for women, nothing else is needed.

  2. I have had 2o years os cronic and debilitating insomnia. This last round, I have been experiencing ringing and buzzing in my ears!! Help!! This is really starting to freak me out. Can anything be done?

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