According to an impressive study, poor sleep quality may reduce gray matter inside the brain’s frontal lobe. The finding is significant, as the frontal lobe plays an important role in executive functioning, and the the memory process.
The Huffington Post tells us that researchers at the University of California-San Francisco studied 144 Gulf War veterans by using MRI brain imaging data to determine the volume of the total cortical gray matter, lobar gray matter, and hippocampus. Sleep quality assessments were also performed.
After adjusting for factors such as psychotropic medication use, depression, PTSD and Gulf War Illness, an association was found between poor sleep quality and decreased regional frontal lobe and total cortical gray matter volume.
Although researchers weren’t able to confirm a cause-and-effect relationship, a previous study showed the gray matter concentration was also reduced in people with obstructive sleep apnea.
Every day new facts are still being discovered as to why we need sleep, but enough have been made reiterate just how important it is to our health. Make sure you get 7-9 hours of sleep every night to help reach your maximum potential!