Everyone has experienced what it is like to be sleep deprived. Sometimes tasks that we could have accomplished easily are now more difficult. It seems that your brain is going to sleep at the cellular level, shutting down neurons it deems need a rest even though you are still awake.
What could be mistaken as forgetfulness or a senior’s moment could actually be your brain going off-line, a neuron at a time.
According to researchers in Wisconsin and Italy, when a rat is sleep deprived it’s brain will start shutting down sections of itself even though the rat is still fully awake.
This also happens in people as well. “Not only that, but the neurons that we use the most during the day are the ones that appear most likely to go offline.”
This generally means that the lack of performance we suffer during the day when we are tired is the result of your brain taking parts of itself off-line for needed rest.
The longer we are awake, more and more neurons will shut themselves down.
In the journal Nature, it goes on to say: “We have done several studies showing that the neurons that you use the most during the waking day are the ones that need to go to sleep the most when you’re tried. At a certain point, and we don’t know exactly why, they start saying ‘I’ve had enough. I’m going off-line.”
The brain seems to need sleep and when it doesn’t get enough it will shut down sections of itself even if you are awake. So make getting enough sleep a higher priority in your life and maybe those senior moments will occur less often.