Poor Sleep Kills Brain Cells

Written by Manny Erlich on April 4, 2014. Posted in Health Effects of Snoring, Snoring 101


If your bed partner snores keeping you up through the night, you may also be burning out vital brain cells.

A recent study published in the Journal of Neuroscience established loss of sleep destroyed brain cells in mice making scientists/doctors suspect the same affect on humans.

The study conducted by the Center for Sleep and Circadian Neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania (in collaboration with Peking University) showed staying awake too long damages a brain cell which plays a key role in keeping us alert, sharp and awake. In the study mice were forced to mirror sleep conditions of late night or shift workers. Conclusion: agitated circadian rhythms led to the destruction of locus ceruleus brain cells.

This is the third study published within the past 12 months linking changes in the brain and lack of sleep.

Warning: Sleep Deprivation Risks Good Health

No one seems to be listening to the warning signals. College students encouraged to do “all nighters” in the library, young professionals feeling the pressure to work until 10PM to compete with their peers, workers volunteering for double shifts—all work longer hours at the expense of sacrificing sleep.

According to the Center of Disease Control (“CDC”) lack of sufficient sleep in America has reached “epidemic” proportions.

A CDC survey showed:

  1.     Of approximately 75,000 respondents 35% averaged less than seven hours of sleep per day and
  2.     48% admitted to snoring (often related to poor sleep).

If your partner’s snoring is keeping you awake at night, suggest a sleep study. Its time we recognize sleeping one or two additional hours per night will help us achieve healthier and more productive lives.

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Manny Erlich

International Foundation of Employee Benefits - Certified Employee Benefits Specialist