Truck drivers and shift workers who regularly miss out on shuteye may want to consider another occupation. Scientists are suggesting that extended wakefulness may be linked to permanent loss of locus coeruleus neurons, cells that are essential for optimal cognition and alertness. According to CNN, even trying to make up for lost sleep by cramming in extra hours the next day doesn’t help the brain recover. The study, published this week in The Journal of Neuroscience, followed mice after periods of normal rest, short wakefulness, and extended wakefulness, and researchers discovered that the group that was awake for the longest time lost 25% of their locus coeruleus neurons.
See more Signal/Noise.