Why you blank out after pulling an all-nighter

Why you blank out after pulling an all-nighter

Why you blank out after pulling an all-nighter

New research suggests that sleep deprivation disrupts brain communication in a manner similar to alcohol, causing temporary lapses in memory and altered visual perception.

Professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Tel Aviv University, Itzhak Fried, spoke to The Times. The resulting cognitive lapses in turn affect how one perceives and reacts to their surroundings.

The research is based on a small sample-12 people who had to forgo sleep for a whole night because of epilepsy surgery in the morning.

Dr Fried led an worldwide team studying 12 people with epilepsy, who had electrodes implanted in their brains in order to pinpoint the origin of their seizures.

Researchers asked each study participant to categorize a variety of images as quickly as possible.

It recorded almost 1,500 single brain cells, across the group, when the patients were asked to perform a task.

"Performing this task is hard when we're exhausted and especially after pulling an all-nighter", noted Nir.

"We were fascinated to observe how sleep deprivation dampened brain cell activity", stated lead author Yuval Nir of Tel Aviv University. Nir added that brain cells did not only respond more slowly but they also fired more weakly and had transmissions that dragged on for a longer time than usual.

Torchlight developer Runic Games shuts down
He assured that " Torchlight's " community and multiplayer will still be available despite the studio closing down. The studio head added that "You haven't heard the last of us".

The researchers discovered that lack of sleep interfered with the neurons' ability to encode information and translate visual input into conscious thought. Fried explained that for example if a person is driving a vehicle and another person jumps in front of it, a sleep deprived person would have a different response than one who has had adequate sleep. "The very act of seeing the pedestrian slows down in the driver's overtired brain", he explains in a UCLA release. "It takes longer for his brain to register what he's perceiving", Dr.

In a second finding, the researchers discovered slower brain waves in the same regions of people's brains to the failing brain cells.

"These lapses occurred when the patients were staring at the images before them, while neurons in other regions of the brain were functioning as usual".

This examination will also help the researchers to understand why seizures develop on sleep deprivation.

"Severe fatigue exerts a similar influence on the brain to drinking too much", Fried said. Fried. "Yet no legal or medical standards exist for identifying overtired drivers on the road the same way we target drunk drivers".

The team plans further tests, including some that dig in more detail into the benefits of sleep.

Sleep deprivation is associated with long term impact in humans leading to hypertension, diabetes, heart attacks, obesity, depression etc.

Related news