If you yawn during the day, conk out as soon as your head hits the pillow or re-read this sentence a few times to absorb its meaning, here’s some bad news: You need more sleep.
Scientists still don’t know exactly why we sleep, but according to a near-constant stream of research, most of us need between six and eight hours of shut-eye each night. Unfortunately, only about 30% of us are getting it. That means 70 million Americans suffer from sleep deprivation, a certified public health epidemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Sleep deprivation takes an enormous toll on our bodies, including bloodshot eyes, increased blood pressure and a fuller waistline. But what’s equally alarming is the negative impact of sleep deprivation on the brain.
This infographic explains what happens to your brain, and what it means for you, when you don’t get enough sleep:
Links to infographic resources: The Journal of Neuroscience, International Scholarly Research Notes,Experimental Brain Research, Psychological Bulletin, UC Berkeley Walker Sleep Lab, PNAS, International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, CDC, The Journal of Neuroscience, SLEEP,PLOS one, Psychological Science, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Daytime Sleepiness Affects Prefrontal Regulation of Food Intake. All images by: Liran Okanon and Tri Vo
Published in collaboration with Mic
Author: Theresa Fisher is the editor of Brain.Mic. A Brooklyn-based journalist, she writes about health, behavior and justice.
Image: A stockbroker looks at stock index numbers on his computer screen at a brokerage firm in Mumbai August 6, 2007. REUTERS/Punit Paranjpe