A new study may provide insight into how memories develop in the brain and how a lack of sleep can factor in, according to a report by Newsweek:

“Getting enough sleep is essential for our mental and physical well-being. It helps us consolidate our memories and aids physical recovery, and not getting enough has been shown to contribute to heart disease, obesity, neurodegenerative disorders and depression.

“Now, new research suggests that not getting enough sleep might permanently disrupt the formation and retrieval of waking memories.

“The neurons that make up the ‘wires’ in our brains rarely act alone. Instead, they are highly interconnected and often fire together in rhythmic and repetitive patterns. One example of this rhythmic firing is known as the sharp-wave ripple, which is sort of like a ‘stadium wave’ in your brain.

Previous research has shown that sharp-wave ripples in an area of the brain called the hippocampus play an important role in memory retrieval and consolidation. However, the impact of sleep deprivation on these brain patterns is less well understood.

“In a new study, published in the journal Nature, researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School recorded brain activity in the hippocampus of seven rats as they explored mazes over the course of several weeks. Some animals were regularly disturbed during sleep while others were allowed to sleep freely.”

To read the entire article by Newsweek, please click HERE.