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Losing Sleep Is No Gray Matter

Although most people understand that a lack of sleep can affect your thinking, new research suggests that chronic insomnia may also be associated with gray matter in the brain.

“We show, for the first time, that insomnia patients have lower gray matter density in brain regions involved in the evaluation of the pleasantness of stimuli, as well as in regions related to the brain’s ‘resting state’. The more severe the sleeping problems of insomniacs, the less gray matter density they have in the region involved in pleasantness evaluation, which may also be important for the recognition of optimal comfort to fall asleep,” said Ellemarije Altena from the research group of Eus van Someren.

The findings from this study suggest that leaving insomnia untreated could possibly result in additional risks that have a negative effect on the brain.

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