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Monday, September 21, 2020

What Happens to Your Brain When You Miss Out On Sleep?

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Our body needs rest for it to recharge and repair itself, but with the busy schedules that we keep almost on daily basis, more often than not, we often sleep a few hours here and there. Although we all know that depriving ourselves of our much-needed sleep is bad for us, we are not really aware to what extent. Well, there are tell-tale signs that we are lacking sleep such as experiencing cravings constantly, mood swings, and even taking risks that are not really necessary.

If you are still wondering what the effects of not getting enough sleep is, here’s what it can do to your brain.

False memories

When we are not sleeping well, our brain may not be able to encode the memories that you have properly since its function has already altered. There is a study that shows that people are highly likely to incorporate wrong details into their memories when they are sleep deprived.


Lack of sleep tricks our brain on focusing on all the negative things that are happening to us which makes you more volatile and itching for a fight. This can be due to the interruption in terms of communication between your brain regions. The connection between the amygdala, where emotional processing occurs, and your medial prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for regulating your feelings, can be hindered by sleep deprivation hence you are prone to anger.

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A brain that is well rested is capable of filtering stimuli so that it can prevent the unimportant stuff from loading your brain too much. But since you’ve been missing out on your sleep lately, your brain is wide open to the numerous stimuli hence hallucinations occur. This is why, when you pull an all-nighter, you tend to see things that aren’t really there.


Lack of sleep can leave you a bit more forgetful than usual since sleep deprivation has been found to affect one’s learning as well as memory. Researchers agree that we need sleep in order to consolidate all of the things that we have experienced and learned in the day. Through proper sleep, we are encouraging our brain to store all the useful information in our heads for future recall.

Losing memories

The hippocampus in our brain, which is that moon-shaped part in the temporal lobe, has been found to have its own distinct pattern of brain activity when the mind stores or encodes new data. Experts believe that our brain repeats the same pattern while we are sleeping to ensure that the memories that we had during the day are stored properly. Of course, when we are sleep deprived, important memories get lost along the way which means that there are memories that we just can’t get back any more.

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Slurred speech

Our temporal lobe functions normally when we are getting enough sleep, but when we start missing out on our rest, you’ll probably notice that our speech gets slurred and we have difficulty enunciating each word that comes out of our mouth. This makes communication more challenging especially after several days of lack of sleep.

Poor wit

The problem with lack of sleep that our witticism gets affected hence our ability to parry commentaries or make sharp remarks even gets impaired. This is due to the fact that our divergent thinking, which is the one that allows us to switch to any topic when talking to someone, gets affected by being sleep deprived.

As you can see, being sleep deprived can affect our mind in so many ways, which is why it is important that we get enough rest every day to stay sharp.

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