MNA Life Style Desk: Poor sleep may increase the risk of developing mood disorders, especially depression among teenagers.
A study, led by Peter Franzen from the University of Pittsburgh in the US, showed that teenagers with sleep deprivation may indulge more in risk-taking behaviour and addictions.
This is because chronic sleep deprivation reduces the proper functioning of putamen-an area of the brain that plays a role in goal-based movements and learning from rewards. Lack of proper sleep also leads to less activity in the brain’s reward system.
Studies showed that sleep loss and poor-quality sleep also lead to accidents and injuries on the job. In one study, workers who complained about excessive daytime sleepiness had significantly more work accidents, particularly repeated work accidents. They also had more sick days per accident.
Sleep plays a critical role in thinking and learning. Lack of sleep hurts these cognitive processes in many ways. First, it impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem solving. This makes it more difficult to learn efficiently.
The study results also showed that when the participants were sleep-deprived and played the reward game for longer hours, the putamen was less responsive.
While in the rest condition, the brain region did not show any difference between high and low-reward conditions.
After a night of restricted sleep, the participants who experienced less activation in the putamen also reported more symptoms of depression.