A new study on sleep that was funded by the Swedish Brain Foundation suggests that sleep loss can hurt human brain as severely as a hit on the head. The study revealed that even one night of sleep deprivation can lead to a spike in the molecules NSE and S-100B which also occurs after being hit hard on the head.
Christian Benedict, a professor at the University of Sweden, explained that the brain requires sleep in order to clean itself of toxins. He also stated that the S-100B and NSE molecules are not particularly harmful but indicators for brain injury such as concussion, for example. The study also revealed a strong link between regular sleep loss and higher risk of diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis.
Professor Benedict added that the study results were based on relatively small group of people consisted mainly of male participants therefore a further research involving more people and especially women was now needed.