Fitness pros may want to remind clients that getting a good night’s sleep can be as important for health as good exercise and nutrition habits. New research shows that loss of less than half a night’s sleep can impair memory and alter the normal behavior of brain cells.
“Sleep deprivation not only impairs active memory functions in the hippocampus; it also alters hippocampal connections to the DMN [default mode network] during times when the brain turns to introspection and musing,” said lead study author Hengyi Rao, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania. “Moreover, these altered connections appear to correlate with later diminished episodic memory.” Episodic memory includes memories of scenes, events and experiences. The DMN refers to a network of brain regions that may be related to self-perception.
The research was presented in New Orleans, at Neuroscience 2012, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. To learn more, go to www.sfn.org.