Latest News » Missing sleep for just one night can lower your IQ

A lack of sleep can seriously impair brain health, weaken memory support and even cause your IQ score to drop.

Scientists and sleep researchers have long made it clear that, for roughly 98 percent of the population, getting seven to eight hours of sleep every night is essential — and falling short of that threshold can result in health risks like declining cognitive thinking, weakened memory support, fatigue, stress, stroke and heart disease, to name a few. Now you can add one more to that list: a lower IQ.

As neuroscientist Dr. Tara Swart tells CNN, disturbances to healthy sleep patterns can cause your IQ to drop by five to eight points, and missing out on just a single night of sleep can reduce your IQ by one standard deviation — tantamount to leaving you to "[operate] as if you've got a learning disability" the next day.

Sleep deficiencies, whether it's a couple hours a night or pulling just one all-nighter, can result in lasting damage to brain health. In addition to the aforementioned risks, a lack of sleep can trigger emotional instability and mood disorders, making it that much harder for even the simplest of social interactions in your day-to-day life. The less sleep you get, the higher your cortisol and stress levels, which not only hampers your ability to sleep even more but also opens up heightened possibilities for nervous breakdowns and heart attacks.

While playing the night owl from time to time may seem harmless at first glance, the truth is that cheating yourself out of those seven or eight hours nightly can significantly impair your ability to think, stay healthy and carry on a normal life. 

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