What Effect Can Sleep Deprivation Have On My Brain?

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I have, intentionally and unintentionally, been deprived of sleep for several months now. I also suffer from depression. I believe this may have an impact on my grades.
It’s weird, though. I feel like a total mess in the morning when I get little to no sleep, but I don’t feel much different when I do get sufficient sleep.
I am able to concentrate in my classes to some degree, but I often find my mind drifting off and thinking about the multitude of problems that have pilled up in my life.
It’s very frustrating because I often have to put in a great deal of effort to study for a test when some people don’t spend much time studying and do way better in tests than I do. I know that depression may cause memory loss, but I just don’t know if that’s really the problem.
Any suggestions? Thanks.

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2 Responses to “What Effect Can Sleep Deprivation Have On My Brain?”

  1. Pepito11 says:

    here’s webmd’s big bunch of articles on sleep deprivation:http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/gui
    however, your problem seems to stem more from stress over school. i suggest if you start talking to someone about it, be it a school councellor, a good friend, or perhaps an older relative who may have gone through the same thing or can otherwise empathize. if it gets really bad, maybe you should seek professional help.
    yeah, head shrinkers have a bad connotation to go along with them, but when your whole world seems like a better place, when problems don’t seem so unmanageable anymore, etc. etc. they’ll be worth it.
    or perhaps you could look into yoga and or getting professional massages.
    also about your observation that not getting a lot of sleep feels the same as getting a “normal” amount, it’s not so much the amount of sleep, but rather the quality of sleep. forgive me if i digress, but sometimes when i go to sleep and have something important to do the next day, i can sometimes wake up at that precise time without the aid of an alarm. you could be doing the same thing to yourself, but much more often and much more powerfully. before you go to bed, even if you get enough sleep, the stress you put upon yourself to do whatever you have to do the next day could prevent you from fully shutting down and going into the much more restful REM sleep.

  2. I don’t know whether you had the sleep deprivation or the depression first, but it has been shown that sleep deprivation can cause depression. The correct amount of sleep(which actually varies from person to person) is vital for your body to rest and your brain actually uses the time to learn. It has even been shown that the brain is more active in students while sleeping close to exams. On a personal note, I have found that I can do better in school with more sleep, I need about 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night in order to concentrate the next day.

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