Do you ever get frustrated because you can’t find your keys? Have you ever walked into a room and don’t remember why? Are you ever afraid that you may be on your way to Alzheimer’s?

Here is what chronic sleep deprivation can do to you . . . .

One in five Americans chronically does not get enough sleep. The short term and long term effects can be devastating. Here are some of the latest findings on what sleep deprivation can do to you.[frame align=”left”][/frame]

• Alzheimer’s Disease – Sleepiness disrupts your brain’s coordinated activity of important networks. The impaired function of these networks is implicated in Alzheimer’s.

• Memory – Not getting enough sleep plays havoc with communication to the part of your brain called the hippocampus, (which is vital for memory). These changes may weaken event recollection.

• Impaired Brain Cells – Loss of half a night’s sleep can impair and alter the normal behavior of brain cells.

• Risks to Learning and Mental Health – Brain imaging and behavioral studies are showing that sleep deprivation blocks or contorts brain pathways and poses risks to learning, memory, and mental health.

The good news:
• Help for Fearful Memories – Fearful memories can be intentionally weakened during sleep. This is hopeful for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

These are just some of the recent findings presented at Neuroscience 2012, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world’s largest source of emerging news about brain science and health.

“As these research findings show, we cannot underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep,” said press conference moderator Clifford Saper, PhD, MD, from the Harvard Medical School, an expert on sleep and its deprivation.

How to Help
For those of us that can’t get in the hours, try a Power Nap or meditation during the day. This kind of short, but powerful rest can help replace that sleep lost the night before.

Learn how to meditate – we recommend “The World is Not a Stressful Place” found on Amazon.

Download a PowerNap to your electronic device click here.

For other information on sleep consider reading, Do I have Insomnia, Why Bright Lights and Dark Nights are Essential for Sleep, Teen Athletes, do this to Reduce Injuries by 68%. Did You Know that How You Sleep Affects How You Eat?, What Sleeping Has to do with your Waistline, and Sleep FAQ.

How sleep deprivation impacts dementia, different types of memory and learning.