Recent research conducted by a UCLA professor and reported by NPR found that brain cells actually slow down when you don’t get enough sleep. Lack of sleep causes the bursts of electrical activity in brain cells to become slower and weaker, which affects the ability of brain cells to communicate.
This helps to explain the mental lapses that occur after a bad night’s sleep. You forget things. You have trouble thinking clearly. You react more slowly to things around you. All these things can affect your mood, performance at work and school, and how you function throughout the day.
As the NPR article points out, drowsy driving is responsible for more than 70,000 accidents each year. That’s not because all those people are falling asleep at the wheel. In many cases, it’s because the driver’s brain isn’t recognizing and processing the activity around them. Continue reading