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Sleep Deprivation: The 10 Most Profound Psychological Effects — PsyBlog

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1. Sleepy brains work harder Since brains that are sleep deprived aren’t as efficient, they have to work harder.

This has been demonstrated in brain imaging studies which show the brains of the sleep deprived desperately pumping energy into the prefrontal cortex, trying to overcome the effects of sleep deprivation.

2. Short-term memory is shot

IME, sometimes making your brain work harder is a _good_ thing, and that this is the reason why so many of us do our better work in the wee hours of the morning or late at night: we only have enough energy for our brains to work on what needs to be worked on, rather than wasting time on all of the "ADD shiny" flooding through our thought stream.

Jason, to your point, Emma Seppala likes to cite a fascinating study by Marieke that showed that we are at our most creative when we are sleepy and therefore unfocused (in the evening for morning people and in the morning for night owls!).

Interesting research. I can say for myself my most creative time is when I'm well rested. Even sometimes in my sleep--I'll wake up with ideas and solutions. When I'm tired...never. 

The key is to be tired enough that our brains are fuzzy but not so tired that we actually fall asleep!

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