Sleep-deprived brain could shut down suddenly

May 21, 2008 2:24:27 PM PDT
If you think losing just one night of sleep isn't a big deal there's some new research that may affect your evening plans.

A study by Duke scientists shows a sleep deprived brain will act erratically and can be prone to sudden shut downs during the day almost like a power outage. The findings suggest that people who are lacking sleep alternate between normal brain function to dramatic lapses in attention and visual processing.

Researchers say the study serves as a warning to shift workers, truck drivers and on-call doctors.

There is more on this research in the Journal of Neuroscience.