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.


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