Poor Sleep May Lead to Lower Brain Volume: Study
By Roshni Mahesh | March 10, 2014 9:28 PM EST
Scientists have found a link between poor sleep and lowered brain volume.
Poor Sleep may lead to Lower Brain Volume
For the study, a team of researchers led by Dr Linda L Chao from the University of California, San Francisco, included 144 Gulf War Veterans. Participants provided information about their sleep patterns - their bedtime and the difficulties they experienced to fall asleep - for a one month period.
On scanning the brains with the help of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), researchers found that people with disrupted sleep had less frontal lobe gray matter than the others. Frontal lobe, one of main lobes of the cerebral cortex, contains dopamine-sensitive neurons that regulate short-term memory, planning, motivation, attention and reward.
"People discount the importance of sleep. So many things seem so much more important than a few extra hours of sleep a night," lead author Dr Chao told Reuters Health. "The study suggests that we shouldn't discount sleep importance."
Apart from these sleep problems; a significant number of the participants had abused alcohol (50 percent), experienced major depressive disorder (40 percent) and post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD (18 percent).
However, the researchers couldn't prove whether sleep disturbances caused by a reduction in brain volume or a decrease in brain volume led to poor sleep. "We only know there's a relationship," Michael Breus, an Arizona clinical psychologist who is board-certified in sleep disorders, told Reuters Health. "We don't know which came first."
The importance of getting a good night's sleep is well-known. Sound sleep has a crucial role in the mental, physical and emotional health of adults and children. Previous studies have shown that short sleep durations increased the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart problems, depression and affected memory and concentration.
Following are some tips from NHS choices, UK that help to improve sleep quality:
- Fix a regular bedtime.
- Create an environment suitable for sleep, by keeping the bedroom dark, quiet and at a pleasant temperature.
- Spare a few minutes for regular exercise.
- Limit caffeine intake.
- Avoid smoking before going to bed.
- Avoid excess consumption of food or alcohol at night.
- Try out some relaxing techniques including music or simple yoga exercises before bed.
(Edited by Anu James)
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Kate Middleton Suffocated in Kensington Palace, Queen Elizabeth Reported War With The Duchess [PHOTOS]
- Chris Martin Dating Reports: Jennifer Lawrence Vs Gwyneth Paltrow [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MTV Video Music Awards: Everything To Know [PHOTOS]
- British Style Icon Kate Middleton Fashion Talk With Camilla Parker-Bowles Daughter-In-Law [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Co-founder of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Corey Griffin, Drowns to Death
- Science of Depression: A Disease With a Biological Basis; Robin Williams A Victiom of the Disease [Watch Video]
- ALS sufferer takes on Ice Bucket Challenge For His Own Cause[Video]
- Xiaomi Mi Band vs. Fitbit Flex Fitness Band Price And Specifications Comparison [WATCH VIDEOS]
- Pornography: A 'Chemical Addiction' That Celebrities Admitted Being Addicted To
- James Foley Beheading Video Has Play-Acting Portions – Video Experts Say
- 4.7-Inch, 5.5-Inch iPhone 6 Models Confirmed with Similar Build, Cam Features & 300+ Screen Pixels on Release Date
- Apple iPhone 6 Release Date, iPhone 6C or 6L Anticipation: Three Things Should Matter To New Phone Shoppers
- Xiaomi Mi4 vs iPhone 6: Why Forecasts Favor Mi4 as The Next Best Phone Against iPhone 6
- James Foley: More Chilling Information Revealed By Escaped Journalists
- Upcoming Sony Xperia Z3 With Dual-SIM Support Gets Approved In China; Full Specifications Revealed; Amber-Coloured Xperia Z3 Tipped
- Companies Push Back IPO Plans Due to Mega Alibaba Share Launch