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Research Suggests Pulling All-Nighters Can Cause Permanent Damage 144

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 artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @12:53AM (#46531199)

    Being eaten by tigers was also common and natural. Natural is not a synonym for healthy.

    This study is a long way from proving anything, but I suspect a lot of people will just dismiss it entirely because they don't want to believe it.

  • No shit ! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Taco Cowboy ( 5327 ) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @01:21AM (#46531281) Journal

    Not all of us like to pull all-nighters.

    For some of us, our brains refuse to stop going overdrive until our mission / project is over.

    Since my college days, whenever I am in a mission for something, my brain kicks up to the overdrive, and even if I sleep, it still keep churning and churning, resulting in me having really lousy sleeps, with imageries of what I was doing, what I am going to do, what I ought be doing (some times they are " hints " from the sub-conscious) kept on flashing up in my dreams.

    For example: I may be in the middle of a very difficult and confusing debugging job.

    After non-stop eyeballing the codes, countless re-and re-re-running of the resulting compilations, I get tired and hit the sack.

    But in my dreams, images of the screens popping up, with texts (source code) scrolling up and down and sideways, with my "dream self" doing the "virtual debugging" inside my dreams.

    It's a goddamn fucking torture, man.

    That is why sometimes I rather pull an all-nighters to get the job done, rather than having those un-ending-loop of imagery invading my sleep.

  • Re:No shit ! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gargleblast ( 683147 ) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @01:43AM (#46531371)

    with my "dream self" doing the "virtual debugging"

    Then there are the nights you do real debugging.

    I modified an overnight cron job that downloaded sales from and uploaded prices to shops. Woke up at 2AM thinking "that program will not work". Logged in remotely and looked over a plethora of failing jobs. Stopped them, edited the program, set it running again, watched it run for a while and then went back to bed. What had I remembered? Not putting a double-semicolon on a new entry in a case-esac statement.

  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @06:47AM (#46532189)

    The older I get (I'm 47), the more staying up late affects me. And by staying up late, I mean anything past about 11:30. Staying up after midnight literally makes me feel ill the next day -- my joints ache and I generally feel unwell.

    When I was in my 20s I had to make myself go to bed -- listening to the BBC at midnight was my usual routine, and getting up at 6-630 was no problem.

  • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @07:53AM (#46532411) Homepage Journal

    And it's implausible that people being eaten by tigers cause death, right?

    There's nothing wrong with the GP's analogy. Sleep deprivation may have been common, but it's not like every human being suffered from it. As a result, like numerous other natural factors, from the plague, the numerous historical waves of lead poisoning (ancient rome, 19th Century plumbing, 20th century car exhausts) to "being eaten by tigers", the mere fact we've survived it doesn't mean that it's harmless.

    But yes, it's (probably) exerted some minor evolutionary pressure, though not the pressure you appear to think (and you're claiming the GP is "biologically illiterate"?)

    This is about minor but very real brain damage. If our bodies have not found a way to adapt to childhood lead poisoning, which has a much greater affect on the brain, then it's pretty safe to assume that human beings have survived in spite of this, not finding some way to make our bodies stronger. A more plausible solution to how we've survived as a species despite numerous natural attacks on our ability to think clearly is that we've evolved, or always were able, to deal with a certain amount of poor thinking, to route around brain damage rather than fix it.

    Is a slightly impaired brain going to prevent the person whose brain it is reproducing? Some would argue the opposite. Will it prevent that person from living? No, because they still function enough to perform the basic tasks required in any society to live, and because the social constructs we've evolved to want and demand provide a minimum level of support for every person. Will it make it harder for that person to bring up their offspring? No, again because they'll still function enough to perform the basic tasks required in any society to live, and because of the aforementioned social constructs.

    The tigers, if anything, are more likely to have had a significant evolutionary effect, in that nobody survives being eaten by one, and so it would stand to reason that we've developed more traits related to avoiding being eaten by tigers than about repairing or preventing brain damage.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas