Have you ever wondered why some people can live on less sleep than others, and yet you or people you may know seem extremely irritable with less sleep?
Scientists have determined that the amount of white matter in your brain determines how well you will fare with lack of sleep.
A recent study involved 45 healthy adults who were studied with a special type of MRI called diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) who stayed awake and performed mood assessments every hour until the next morning at 11:15 am.
The subjects with more white matter in their brain were able to maintain a positive mood during their sleep deprivation. The white matter of the brain is made up of fibers which connect brain cells together, while the grey matter of the brain is the brain cell and neuron bodies itself.
Though it was an interesting study, the researchers call for more studies to be conducted to rule out casual associations, but for now, it seems that it’s truly a case of different strokes for different folks when it comes to being cranky with less sleep.
- Bajaj, Sahil, and William D.S. Killgore. “Vulnerability to Mood Degradation during Sleep Deprivation Is Influenced by White-Matter Compactness of the Triple-Network Model.” NeuroImage, vol. 202, 15 Nov. 2019, doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.116123.