In an interview with the website aif.ru on Wednesday, April 28, the candidate of psychological sciences, psychoanalyst, clinical psychologist of the highest category, somnologist, associate professor Alexei Melekhin spoke about how the brain and psyche react to lack of sleep.
According to the specialist, the brain as an organ consists of cells, neurons, and lack of sleep leads to stress, that is, it affects the performance of nerve cells, their ability to multiply and provide certain functions – attention, memory and others.
Melekhin noted that in the case of a lack of sleep, neurogenesis is impaired – the ability of cells to regenerate, build new connections to ensure basic functions. In this regard, with a lack of sleep, learning ability worsens, it is more difficult for a person to assimilate new information, his thinking processes are disturbed, and difficulties arise with systematization. Premature aging of the brain begins to occur, that is, the process of slowing down the rate of formation of new connections and new cells. With aging of the brain, neurology slows down – the processes that ensure the development of new cells, their normal functioning, so that there are no inflammatory processes in the brain, and the regeneration goes right.
“Sleep actually serves for the brain and psyche as a kind of” cleansing “, because during sleep, detoxification from decay products occurs,” the somnologist emphasized.
He explained that people over 65 are at increased risk of vascular disease due to lack of sleep. Amyloid deposition is also noted, which means that the risks of developing Alzheimer’s disease are increasing.
With a lack of sleep, the specialist notes, such consequences as anger, irritability, tearfulness are manifested. Sleepiness is a major symptom of sleep deprivation.
“If you wake up broken, with a headache, red eyes, irritability, then obviously something is happening in a dream,” the assistant professor explained.
With such problems, he urged to see a doctor.
Melekhin also identified artificial and natural sleep deprivation. Natural sleep deprivation can occur in mental, neurological and somatic diseases. Thus, most of the mental disorders of the anxiety spectrum are accompanied by lack of sleep and anxious sleep. Artificial sleep deprivation refers to situations where a person interferes with his own sleep. For example, when he himself sets the alarm at a more “correct” time, since somewhere it is written that it is better to get up at five, and not at ten in the morning. Also, artificial sleep deprivation can occur when a person tries to change habits in order to go to bed when they are not ready for it.
On April 21, neurologist, rehabilitation therapist Marina Anikina announced the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s disease due to lack of sleep. She noted that lack of sleep and chronic stress lead to similar changes.