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Medicine

Research Suggests Pulling All-Nighters Can Cause Permanent Damage 144

Posted by samzenpus
from the we-can-sleep-when-we're-dead dept.
First time accepted submitter nani popoki writes "Skipping a good night's sleep can cause brain damage according to a new study. From the article: 'Are you a truck driver or shift worker planning to catch up on some sleep this weekend? Cramming in extra hours of shut-eye may not make up for those lost pulling all-nighters, new research indicates. The damage may already be done — brain damage, that is, said neuroscientist Sigrid Veasey from the University of Pennsylvania. The widely held idea that you can pay back a sizeable "sleep debt" with long naps later on seems to be a myth, she said in a study published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience. Long-term sleep deprivation saps the brain of power even after days of recovery sleep, Veasey said. And that could be a sign of lasting brain injury.'"
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Research Suggests Pulling All-Nighters Can Cause Permanent Damage

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  • by stenvar (2789879) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @12:35AM (#46531117)

    Sleep deprivation has been a natural and common occurrence throughout human evolution. It seems highly implausible that "an all-nighter" would cause permanent brain damage in any meaningful sense.

  • by pipedwho (1174327) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @12:46AM (#46531159)

    Sleep deprivation has been a natural and common occurrence throughout human evolution. It seems highly implausible that "an all-nighter" would cause permanent brain damage in any meaningful sense.

    I doubt a single all-nighter is going to cause a measurable change to your long term brain function. However, anything that takes a small toll, may become measurable in aggregate after a given number of occurrences.

    Regarding human evolution; people generally sleep when it is dark. And with no unnatural sources of light, historically sleep deprivation would not have been anywhere near as common as it has become in modern society.

  • Re:Oh... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fyngyrz (762201) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @12:52AM (#46531185) Homepage Journal

    Yeah, also: oh, bullshit.

    If this were true I wouldn't even have a brain left.

    I bet there are so many caveats here that the truth of this is almost certain to be lost in the noise. People differ so much, I tend to take it with a very large dose of salt when someone tells me such and such consequences are inevitable. People smoke their entire lives, no cancer. Others, bang, almost right away. Some people have immense physical stamina. Some enjoy the night. Some like the day. Some think kids are the most wonderful thing in the world, others think they're the purest form of annoyance. Some people live for sex, others don't care.

    And then there's the stats angle... Headline: "your chances are TWICE the nomal fella if you (fill in the blank)", when it turns out that the chances for the normal fella are one in ten thousand, and yours are now a whopping 1 in 5000. Yawn.

    Nah, not buying it. Think I'll skip sleeping tonight and play with my radios. :) 80 meters is open all night, and it's pretty quiet (in the atmospheric noise sense) now!

    You know what probably REALLY gives you brain damage? Superstition.

  • In mice (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EvilSS (557649) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @01:22AM (#46531285)
    Research Suggests Pulling All-Nighters Can Cause Permanent Damage in mice. The study was done on mice, not people. While it's an interesting first step, it is not in anyway conclusive that the results also apply to humans.
  • This is true (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 20, 2014 @01:37AM (#46531353)

    It never said that the brain damage it gives you is as dramatic as you're making it out to be. It is actually miniscule damage. But that minuscule damage could cause very minor memory loss, such as forgetting one thing in a test or forgetting something on your shopping list.

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