Cognitive Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Goals

The goal is to determine the cognitive effects of sleep deprivation and how many hours of sleep is required to reverse those effects.

Early Findings

  • Sleep deprivation especially affects the frontal lobe and the thalamus of the brain, which affects things like memory and decision-making.
  • Sleep deprivation can "activate genes that interfere with optimal brain activity".
  • Studies have shown that a consistent lack of sleep can increase the chance of developing dementia in later years.
  • A study was performed in which participants did not sleep for 24 hours. The results showed no affect on reaction time, but a large affect on working memory and divided attention.
  • Many experts have said that sleep deprivation cannot be fully repaid. We did not find any information regarding the number of hours required to reverse cognitive damage caused by sleep deprivation.
  • One technique that can help with cognitive damage from sleep deprivation is yogic sleep, which is a form of meditation.

Proposed next steps:

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