Scientists say a sleepless night can make you happy for days

By Jurassic JennMar 30, 2024 14:01 PMScience
Scientists say a sleepless night can make you happy for days
Scientists say a sleepless night can make you happy for days. Source:

Scientists have found that just one night without sleep can rewire the brain and make us feel refreshed for days. And although it seems implausible, research shows that in the short term, a lack of sleep for a few hours increases sexual arousal, improves overall vitality, and causes an antidepressant effect.

SSPDaily reports that, according to brain scientists, this positive mood is associated with an increase in the level of the "feel-good" hormone dopamine. In particular, the publication quotes Professor Evgeny Kozorovitsky (Northwestern University): "We have found that sleep loss causes a powerful antidepressant effect and reorganizes the brain. This is an important reminder of how our random actions, namely a sleepless night, can dramatically change the state of the body.

For your information: The National Health Service (NHS) recommends that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night, as chronic sleep deprivation increases the risk of a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and dementia.

Prof. Kozorowitz said: "Chronic sleep loss is well understood and its consistently detrimental effects are widely documented. But short-term sleep loss, such as when a student stays up late before an exam, has hardly been studied."

If a mouse is awake, it is happy

The latest study on sleep, published in the journal Neuron, examined how sleep deprivation affects the functioning of mice. It is reported that during the experiment, animals were deprived of sleep and their brains and subsequent behavior were monitored.

Characteristically, after the mice were put into wakefulness, they became more active. According to the scientists, there was a clear increase in the level of dopamine, a hormone that causes a feeling of pleasure, in their brains.

By the way, in humans, dopamine plays an important role in managing memory, mood, sleep, learning, concentration, movement, and other important bodily functions.

The neurotransmitter also changed brain regions, making the mice feel happy for several days in a row. The researchers concluded that in the natural environment, this effect helps rodents fight for existence.

It is better not to joke with lack of sleep

Given that some readers may be tempted to cheer themselves up with a sleepless night, the professor warned: "The antidepressant effect is transient, and we know how important a good night's sleep is. I would say that you should go to the gym or take a walk."

"This new knowledge is more important for selecting appropriate antidepressants for people with sleep problems than for experimenting on yourself."

How to get back a good night's sleep?

  • Tire yourself out during the day by engaging in active activities, but switch to a quieter mode in the evening.
  • Don't go to bed during the day.
  • Create a nighttime routine and make sure that your bedroom has a "sleepy" atmosphere.This can be achieved with thick curtains or blackout blinds, a comfortable room temperature, and cozy bedding.
  • Do not use electronic devices in bed.
  • Reduce or, even better, eliminate caffeine and alcohol from your evening routine.

What should I do if I can't sleep? Do not lie in bed, get up and do something relaxing, such as reading a book. You will most likely fall asleep in 15-20 minutes.

If you work in shifts, it's a good idea to take a short nap before your first night shift to help you adjust. If you are leaving in the evening, try to take a short nap and then go to bed early.

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