Not enough sleep can damage your brain

Photo courtesy CNN

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP)- If you didn’t get enough sleep last night… this is the time of day you’re probably starting to really feel it. 22news takes a look at a new study that shows how damaging a lack of sleep is… if you make it a habit.

We’ve all experienced a night of bad sleep, but for some people like shift workers, parents, and people who simply work too much.. a good night of sleep is rare.

And now research is showing that a chronic lack of sleep could cause irreversible damage to our brains. A UPenn study published in the Journal of Neuroscience tracked mice that were kept awake.

Regular lack of sleep caused 25% of certain brain cells to die. Now scientists want to study shift workers and see if their similar habits cause nerve damage. It’s recommended adults get eight hours of sleep a night. 22News found people on both ends of the sleep spectrum.

Tatiana Chelsau told 22News she’s one of those people that doesn’t get enough sleep. “About five. May six hours on weekends. I’m a stay at home mom with three kids and an evening student. I don’t have a chance to get more sleep.”

While James Kelly added that he gets the suggested amount of sleep. “I’d say 8-10 hours. I wake up early. I start at 6-6:30 every morning so I go to bed early.”

The researchers’ goal is to eventually develop medicines to protect brain cells and help them recover on an irregular schedule like a shift.

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