Lack of sleep can cause memory loss - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Lack of sleep can cause memory loss

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Restless and choppy sleep may put you at risk for Alzheimer's or severe memory impairments.  That is according to new research presented at the Neuroscience 2012 conference. Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania presented preliminary studies showing a correlation between poor sleep habits and memory impairment.  

Just two hours of missed slumber is enough to stop the brain from laying down and storing memories.  Simply dropping from eight hours of sleep to six could make the difference.  It is thought that the replay of our memories while we are asleep is essential for their proper storage in the brain.

The study also suggested that there is a critical period after learning during in which memories are consolidated, meaning that loss of sleep at some points in time may be more damaging than at others.

 

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