When Lacking Sleep, the Brain Does the Unthinkable

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Plenty of things happen to our body when we’re tired. However, did you know the brain literally begins to eat itself when we don’t get enough sleep?

Our brains change states when we sleep to clear away the toxic byproducts of neural activity left behind during the day. The same process occurs in brains that are chronically sleep deprived, but only cranked up a notch. A team led by neuroscientist Michele Bellesi from the Marche Polytechnic University in Italy has found that persistently poor sleep causes the brain to clear a substantial amount of neurons and synaptic connections.

In other words, the brain begins to unnecessarily consume itself.

 

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