Losing sleep over losing sleep

Disruptions in sleep cycle could lead to permanent brain damage
By Liz Bernier
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/20/2014

Missing out on one night of shut-eye shouldn’t hurt you. But disrupt the sleep cycle for a longer period of time and your body — and your brain — won’t be able to recover so easily.

That was the central finding in a University of Pennsylvania study that found chronic sleep deprivation — like that experienced by many shift workers — could actually damage neurons in the brain.

The findings indicate that the idea of quickly making up for a “sleep debt” isn’t really accurate, said Sigrid Veasey, associate professor of medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.