A new research finds that sleep deprivation can disrupt abilities of the brain cells to communicate with each other, similar to the effect of drinking too much alcohol. Eventually, this may lead to temporary mental lapses that may affect memory and visual perception.
For the purposes of the study, a team of scientists studied 12 persons preparing to undergo surgery for epilepsy at UCLA. The participants had electrodes implanted in their brains. As lack of sleep can provoke seizures, the patients didn’t sleep all night. After this, the patients were asked to categorize the variety of images as fast as possible.
Having analyzed the results from the patients, the researchers concluded that task completion grew more challenging the longer patients were awake. Moreover, the more patients grew sleepier the slower their brain cells were.