Considering that we spend about a third of our lives doing it, sleep is still a largely mysterious phenomenon. Scientists have been studying sleep for centuries and entire institutions are dedicated to the topic. One of the ways we learn about what happens when we sleep is by looking at what happens when we don't.
Several recent neurological studies have identified specific effects of sleep deprivation in the brain. For instance, by way of MRI technology, we know that the prefrontal cortex works overtime when we're tired. But at the same time, the temporal lobe goes quiet. In practical, behavioral terms, the effect is remarkably similar to getting drunk. Why is that? Jules Suzdaltsev sorts it all out in today's DNews dispatch.
Huffington Post: Studies Show Sleep Deprivation Performance Is Similar to Being Under the Influence of Alcohol
ScienceDaily: Brain Activity Is Visibly Altered Following Sleep Deprivation
Washington Post: Sleep-deprived drivers have plenty in common with drunk drivers