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Get Enough Sleep for More Brain Cells, A Study Finds

By Julie S | Sep 04, 2013 09:25 AM EDT

Get Enough Sleep for More Brain Cells, A Study Finds
A new study shows benefits of getting a good night sleep. Scientists believe that a good amount of sleep gives you more brain cells. (Photo : Reuters)

A new study shows another benefit of getting a good night sleep. Scientists believe that a good amount of sleep gives you more brain cells.

Researchers from the Wisconsin University found that the rate of production of immature oligodendrocytes has increased by 50 percent when they monitored mice during its sleeping hours. Oligodendrocytes is a certain type of brain cell responsible for the production of myelin sheath which completes its full production through age 30 years old.,

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Rapid Eye Movement (REM)--or the type of sleep that is associated with dreaming and was fueled by genes—was also observed during the monitoring period.

On the contrary, the genes responsible in the death of cells and stress responses were active when the mice were compelled to stay wide awake.

Humans sleep to feel relaxed and get more enough rest for the mind to function better. However, the exact benefit and the scientific reason for doing so baffled the scientist for many years.

“For a long time sleep researchers focused on how the activity of nerve cells differs when animals are awake versus when they are asleep,” said lead author of the study Dr. Chiara Cirelli to BBC.

"Now it is clear that the way other supporting cells in the nervous system operate also changes significantly depending on whether the animal is asleep or awake."

The researchers stated that the result of their study suggests that symptoms of a disease that destroys myelin, multiple sclerosis, might be aggravated when someone does not get enough sleep. A person with multiple sclerosis experiences physical, mental, and even psychological problems.

Dr. Cirelli and her co-researchers are also engrossed to know if sleep deprivation in adolescents can cause long-term damages on their brains.

According to the U.S National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), sleep is very vital in enabling our nervous system to work properly. Getting enough sleep helps in the production of growth hormone in kids and teens. It is also the time wherein the body cells increase its production and decreased breakdown of proteins.

The study was published in the online journal Neuroscience.

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