Too Little Shut-Eye Could Cause Brain Damage

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Not getting enough sleep could literally kill your brain cells, according to a new Penn Medicine study.

Penn Medicine researchers found that the lack of sleep in mice did damage to their brains. They also found that getting extra hours of sleep later may not be enough to make up for the deficit.

According to University of Pennsylvania scientists, the study provides evidence that not getting enough shut-eye really can lead to irreversible injury in key parts of the brain.

"In general, we've always assumed full recovery of cognition following short- and long-term sleep loss," Sigrid Veasey, a neuroscientist from the University of Pennsylvania, said.

"But some of the research in humans has shown that attention span and several other aspects of cognition may not normalize even with three days of recovery sleep, raising the question of lasting injury in the brain," she explained.

The study was published Tuesday in the Journal of Neuroscience.

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