Sleep deprivation can make your brain shrink

cancer, high blood pressure, Olumia Life, rest, sleep deprivation, sleep stages

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Almost sounds like a science fiction movie, but it’s true: sleep deprivation can have many adverse affects on you and your quality of life, including, perhaps, shrinking your brain.

A new study published in the scientific journal, Neurology, concludes that missing out on quality sleep can lead to brain shrinkage…or vice-versa. The study goes on to say that researchers could not yet see definitively which one was causing the other, as diminishing brain volumes could cause poor quality sleep.

Whatever the case, it’s all the more apparent that getting a good night’s rest is vitally important to your overall, long-term health.

The Details of Sleep and Brain Shrinkage

So how did researchers come up with these findings? By looking at the sleep patterns and measuring the quality of sleep for participants ranging from 20 to 84 years old, including taking MRIs of their brains at the beginning and end of the 3.5-year study.

For those measured as getting poor quality sleep, the researchers found that the volume had dropped in the frontal, temporal and parietal lobes, with participants over the age of 60 seeing the biggest difference over time.

What This Means for You

As always, it’s important to get enough quality sleep. But what does “quality sleep” mean anyway? It’s not necessarily sleeping for 7-8 hours every night without waking up. Quality sleeps means that your body gets enough time in the deeper stages of sleep to recover from the day and repair your body in preparation for the next one.

While sleep fragmentation (when we wake too frequently to maintain the deeper sleep stages) can occur, waking up from time to time at night can be entirely natural as well.

When we sleep, our bodies cycle through the stages of sleep. It’s easier to wake up in the first two stages, so it’s common to wake and drift off again. Provided we get enough time in the deeper stages, interruptions in your night’s rest aren’t a problem.

Sleeping Better

Rest is one of the complete health categories in Olumia Life for a reason: It’s absolutely vital to getting fit and staying that way long-term. As part of the Olumia plan for improving your rest, you’ll be able to get the quality sleep you need and find out how to make the most out of the time you have for rest.

While sleep deprivation can cause problems in the size of your brain, it’s important to note that there are many other problems that occur. If you chronically get less than 6 hours of sleep each night, you raise the risk of numerous diseases and health issues, like

  • Weight gain
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Cancer

Without the proper amount of sleep, you won’t be able to function properly, meaning you’ll be less productive during the day and in need of even more quality rest. When your brain isn’t rested, you can’t think or react as well. Even when you have a busy schedule, budgeting enough time to sleep can be the difference between working hard and working smart.

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