In this recent study of cognitive lapses due to sleep deprivation, Dr. Yuval Nir, the study’s first author, reportedly said: “We were fascinated to observe how sleep deprivation dampened brain cell activity. Unlike the usual rapid reaction, the neurons responded slowly, fired more weakly and their transmissions dragged on longer than usual.” The cellular communication slowdown was one of the observed results, but overall brain wave activity slowed, as well. Professor Itzhak Fried, who led the study, said: “We discovered that starving the body of sleep also robs neurons of the ability to function properly. This paves the way for cognitive lapses in how we perceive and react to the world around us… Slow sleep-like waves disrupted the patients’ brain activity and performance of tasks. This phenomenon suggests that select regions of the patients’ brains were dozing, causing mental lapses, while the rest of the brain was awake and running as usual.” Bottom line conclusion? Inadequate sleep exerts a similar influence on our brain as drinking too much.