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From now on, turn of the light (and your phone) and try to sleep tight!

Petra Hapsari   15 September 2017 15:55

Seeing a sleepless student and fellow worker is probably not a new thing for you. Even you yourself might be one of those who are sleepless.

But be careful, lack of sleep might not only make you feel tired the whole day, but it might make the brain function decrease, causing various mental problems.

Mental problems that might occur due to lack of sleep:

1. Brain working slowly

Researchers found that lack of sleep can decrease the brain’s concentration and alertness. No wonder that after hours of no sleeping, you might get confused, become forgetful and find it hard to think clearly. In medical terms, the impaired thinking due to exhausted brain is called as brain fog. It may make you hard to make an important decision.

It might sound trivial, but brain fog is not something you can underestimate as it can be the early symptom of dementia.

2. Becoming forgetful

When you are sleepy, you tend to be forgetful. Not only your concentration and focus get disturbed, your memory will also get worse.

It is all because when you are sleeping, the nerves in your brain which save memory are strengthened. An expert from Faculty of Medicine in Maryland University, US, dr. Avelino Verceles said that when sleeping, brain records things we have learned and experienced in a day into the short-term memory — that is why you should not sleep in anger.

3. Hard to accept new information

Lack of sleep might affect your ability to understand new information. First, you will find it hard to focus that it is difficult for you to accept new information, then you will not be able to learn efficiently.

Second, lack of sleep will affect your ability to memorize things. Your memory will be weakened and it will be hard for you to memorize things you have learned.

4. Possible further mental disorder

Lack of sleep might not the direct cause of mental disorder. However, various researches found big potential of mental disorders such as depression, ADHD, anxiety and bipolar disorder.

A research in Michigan, US observed people from 21 to 30 years old. The result shows that people with insomnia at the first interview were four times more likely to suffer from depression when they were being interviewed again three years later. Other study found that sleeping problem occurs before depression. Besides, it is more difficult for depressed people with insomnia to get healed compared to those who do not have insomnia.

In a research, experts found that insomnia as well as other sleeping disorder might worsen manic or depression on patients with bipolar disorder. Lack of sleep can trigger mania, a phase of emotional explosion or uncontrollable behavior.

Lack of sleep also triggers anxiety. One study reports that around 27 percent of patients with anxiety started with insomnia.

The article was previously published in and all medical data has been reviewed by a licensed medical doctor.


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