Sleep deprivation negatively impacts the brain, and this typically manifests as forgetfulness. Short-term, long-term, and working memory are all affected. Sufficient sleep enables the brain to form connections that help the patient with information processing and retention. Sleep deprivation disturbs this process, and patients may struggle with routine tasks as a result. For example, they can forget where they put their keys, have difficulty recalling words and completing sentences, or accidentally omit an ingredient from a recipe.
Studies have shown that individuals dealing with sleep deprivation have to put in much more effort than others to complete basic verbal reasoning tasks. Forgetfulness associated with sleep deprivation usually improves if the patient starts to get sufficient sleep consistently. Patients who regularly struggle with forgetfulness even with sufficient sleep should have a neurologist evaluate their memory.
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