A new study says long-term sleep deprivation saps the brain of power even after days of recovery sleep.
University of Pennsylvania researchers put lab mice on an unstable sleep schedule that mirrored the schedules of shift workers.
They found that when losing sleep becomes a habit, it leads to damage to a bundle of nerve cells associated with alertness and cognitive function.
The study's authors admit more work needs to be done on humans. The study is published this week in the journal of neuroscience.