According to a latest study sleep deprivation could affect the functioning of brain cells. This study was undertaken by a group of researchers from Princeton University. They conducted this study on rats.
The scientists studied two groups of rats - one group whose sleep was deprived for 72 hours and the other one had normal sleep. The result indicated that lack of sleep in the first group affected a region in the brain called hippocampus which is responsible for memory.
There is an increased level of Corticosterone, a stress hormone when there is lack of sleep. The other group of rats had a normal level of production of new cells. They also claimed that even after the sleep pattern was restored the cell production could not be restored back.
But the scientists are still working on the reasons for lack of cell production -whether it is no sleep totally or if a little nap could have a different effect. According to sleep expert Dr. Neil Stanley, the mechanism of sleep is different in humans where they could go without a nap for almost 72 hours. Hence the study should be quantified further.