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The highest record of staying up without sleeping is 11 days. But this is no time to make history and join statistics: sleep deprivation might not kill you, but it is so dangerous for your health that you can't afford to ignore it...

Which organ system benefits the most from the effects of sleep: the nervous system (brain) or the musculoskeletal system (body)?

Well, to answer this question, let’s put it this way” when we exercise (aerobics, yoga, jogging, swimming, etc.) our body – which here refers to our muscles) is at work. But in the activities of our daily routines (thinking, making tasks, organizing meetings, studying, etc.) our brain is the organ that is being exercised. Therefore, unless our tiredness is the result of an entire day of hike or exercise, fatigue is mainly of intellectual nature. And this is why the effects of sleep deprivation mostly affect the brain and its functions.

First and foremost, sleep deprived individuals suffer from following:

Sleepiness

Well, you didn’t see that one coming; did you? It’s rather straightforward! Your body needs what it is missing. Just like you would feel thirsty if you deprived your body of water, you will feel sleepy if you deprive your body from sleep. Because of that, your sleep cycle is deranged and instead of feeling sleepy at night, you tend to feel sleepy and drowsy during the day. Unfortunately, this sensation does not go away until you get a proper night sleep, for you will always need to compensate for any amount of sleep lost (sleep rebound).

Inability to Concentrate

With insufficient sleep, it is hard to focus on tasks that require concentration.

People who are sleep deprived are more likely to perform poorly on such tasks than those individuals who give themselves adequate amounts of sleep every night.

The brain requires a certain level of energy to fulfill its tasks, and part of that energy (in addition to diet and exercise) comes from having had a restful night of good quality sleep. Additionally, people who are sleep deprived tend to overestimate their performance capability and underestimate the effects of their lack of sleep on their ability to focus on important tasks.

Inability to make simple decisions

When you are sleep-deprived, even the simplest decisions seem to be hardcor tasks. More importantly, you tend to worry about trivial details instead of focusing on the bigger picture. This is because of the fact that your brain is not functioning at its optimal potential, and therefore it is difficult for you to distinguish what is important from what is irrelevant.

Poor Memory

Sleeping is the best time for our brain to get reorganized and do some cleanup in its files.

During sleep, the brain is on low-energy consuming mode and encounters fewer distractions, and this is the perfect time to consolidate memories and categorize short term memories as long term memories. This is why it is generally recommended (before an exam or an important presentation) to have a great night sleep to allow the brain to remember and internalize all the learned materials and restitute them in an organized manner.

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