A sleepless night slows down our brain cells, creating mental lapses as we space out at work, at school and behind the wheel.
That’s according to a study led by a UCLA neurosurgeon that found sleep deprivation breaks up brain cells’ ability to talk with one another, causing mental and visual lags that impair “how we perceive and react to the world around us,” said Itzhak Fried, its director.
Such brain farts can prove more consequential than lost keys: The findings show how little society cares about sleep deprivation, he said.
Going without sleep can make you effectively drunk. But, as Fried said in a university release, “no legal or medical standards exist for identifying overtired drivers on the road the same way we target drunk drivers.”
Sleep deprivation has also been linked to obesity, depression and heart attacks, among other risks.