So, being tired and being drunk is pretty much the same thing

At this stage, we're all well aware of the negative effects a poor night's sleep can have on our mind and body.

Concentration levels are at an all time low, irritability is through the roof, and what was once a routine daily task now seems like impossible feat.

According to a new study, a lack of sleep can actually produce similar effects on the brain as alcohol consumption.

It seems that both states of being cause neurons to respond more slowly, meaning brain signals are slower and weaker.

For the study, researchers examined 12 tired epileptic patients who had electrodes implanted into their brains to pinpoint the origin of their seizures.

According to The Independent, Professor Itzhak Fried, from the University of California at Los Angeles, 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.”

She also argues that regulations should be put in place in order to stop over-tired drivers from getting behind the wheel.

“Inadequate sleep exerts a similar influence on our brain as drinking too much. Yet no legal or medical standards exist for identifying over-tired drivers on the road the same way we target drunk drivers.”

Participants were asked to stay up all night in order to trigger an epileptic episode before undergoing surgery.

They were then tasked with categorising a selection of images as fast as possible while implants recorded their brain activity.

Results showed that a lack of sleep caused the neurons to respond to visual stimulus at a much slower place, while transmissions were found to drag on longer than normal.

What's more, scientists also discovered that some sections of the participants brain were still in a sleep-like state, even while the rest of the brain appeared to be awake.

“Slow sleep-like waves disrupted the patients' brain activity and performance of tasks,” said Prof Fried.

“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.”

Night-night, ladies!

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