LONDON (CBS Atlanta) – Men who go even a single night without sleep may be a greater risk for brain damage, reports Medical Daily.
Swedish researchers studied 15 young and healthy men in sleep labs for two nights; one night they were kept awake and the second got 8 hours of sleep.
The scientists studied blood samples before and after each night.
They were looking for neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and S100 calcium-binding protein B (S-100B); these molecules are part of the make up of the human brain and an increase is typically a sign of damage to the brain tissue.
On the nights the men were sleep deprived, their NSE and S100 rates increased 20 percent.
“Our results indicate that a lack of sleep may promote neurodegenerative processes,” said Christian Benedict, a lead author of the study in Medical News Today.
While the authors acknowledge the sample size of the study is small, it’s another sign that a chronic lack of sleep can lead to all sorts of health problems.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7 to 9 hours of sleep for the average adult.