The study published in The Journal of Neuroscience found that sleep enhances the reproduction of cells which form the insulating material on nerve cell projections in the brain and spinal cord known as myelin.
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin, Adison, evaluated gene activity in specific cell types, oligodendrocytes, during experiments on mice that slept and some that were awake.
Study showed that during sleep, the genes that boosted the formation of myelin were turned on. Alarmingly, the genes connected to death of cells were active during wake up time.
This led researchers to also guess that chronic sleep deprivation could even aggravate some symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease that damages myelin.