Is Too Little Sleep As Bad For Your Brain as Crack?

Is Too Little Sleep As Bad For Your Brain as Crack?

Sleep is essential to brain health. According to Dr. Nora Volkow, sleep deprivation can cause brain damage similar to cocaine. She recently gave a speech titled Probing the Sleep-Deprived Human Brain. Dr. Volkow is the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse-part of the National Institute for Health She gave that speech at Radcliffe College which was reported in the Harvard Gazette. Dr. Volkow is an expert on the effects of addictive drugs on the brain, particularly the effects that cocaine has on the brain. 

She has found that cocaine disrupts dopamine transmission. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays an essential role in brain function. In part, it is released by neurons to signal other neurons.  Specifically, she found that that using cocaine resulted in brain cells releasing dopamine but being unable to receive it. She has found that lack of sleep can have the same effect on dopamine transmission.

Here is a quote from her: “Yet lack of sleep itself produces some of the same effects that drugs do: It disrupts memory, inhibits alertness and can contribute to obesity. It also results in accidents, and there are more fatalities associated with improper sleep behavior than there are with alcohol.”  Link to the article here.

Another shameless plug: we offer some really great products to help you sleep. Aromatherapy gift sets including lavender fragrance which many folks find helps them drift off, and oversized, silk sleep masks to block light.

More Brain-Building Ideas

Is your brain performing at its full potential?

Are you doing everything you can to make your brainspan match your lifespan?

Are their steps you should be taking to prevent dementia later in life?

Could you use some brain-building ideas?

Please consider our book: Grow Your Brain Anyone, At Any Age, Can Have a Bigger, Better Brain. It contains insight on those questions and much more. It is now available at a  book store near you, at www.BigBrain.Place, and at Amazon.com in both print and Kindle formats. 

Since you’re already on this page, why not sign up for the best brain health and brain-building newsletter in the universe? It’s completely free and we never sell, rent or share your information.

Don't you have a friend who could use a bigger brain? Please use the links below to share this post.