Sleep Promotes Neurogenesis

Royan Health Risks, Healthy Lifestyle, Productivity, Wellness Planner

Neurogenesis: neu·ro·gen·e·sis
(nur’ə-jěn’ĭ-sĭs, nyur’-) n.
Formation of nervous tissue.

As recently as 10 years ago, scientists and medical professionals thought it was impossible for human beings to grow new nerve cells. Research from institutions including UC Berkeley, UC San Diego and UCLA are showing that good ol’ sleep helps promote a healthy amount of neurogenesis. This includes areas like the “hippocampus” which are essential for memory and learning.

Royan Kamyar, M.D., MBA is founder and CEO of Owaves


  1. Guzman‐Marin, R., Suntsova, N., Methippara, M., Greiffenstein, R., Szymusiak, R., & McGinty, D. (2005). Sleep deprivation suppresses neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus of rats. European Journal of Neuroscience22(8), 2111-2116.
  2. Hairston, I. S., Little, M. T., Scanlon, M. D., Barakat, M. T., Palmer, T. D., Sapolsky, R. M., & Heller, H. C. (2005). Sleep restriction suppresses neurogenesis induced by hippocampus-dependent learning. Journal of neurophysiology94(6), 4224-4233.
  3. Lledo, P. M., Alonso, M., & Grubb, M. S. (2006). Adult neurogenesis and functional plasticity in neuronal circuits. Nature Reviews Neuroscience7(3), 179-193
  4. Mirescu, C., Peters, J. D., Noiman, L., & Gould, E. (2006). Sleep deprivation inhibits adult neurogenesis in the hippocampus by elevating glucocorticoids. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences103(50), 19170-19175.
  5. Meerlo, P., Mistlberger, R. E., Jacobs, B. L., Heller, H. C., & McGinty, D. (2009). New neurons in the adult brain: the role of sleep and consequences of sleep loss. Sleep medicine reviews13(3), 187-194.
  6. Mueller, A. D., Mear, R. J., & Mistlberger, R. E. (2011). Inhibition of hippocampal neurogenesis by sleep deprivation is independent of circadian disruption and melatonin suppression. Neuroscience193, 170-181.
  7. Sportiche, N., Suntsova, N., Methippara, M., Bashir, T., Mitrani, B., Szymusiak, R., & McGinty, D. (2010). Sustained sleep fragmentation results in delayed changes in hippocampal-dependent cognitive function associated with reduced dentate gyrus neurogenesis. Neuroscience170(1), 247-258.
  8. Taki, Y., Hashizume, H., Thyreau, B., Sassa, Y., Takeuchi, H., Wu, K., … & Kawashima, R. (2012). Sleep duration during weekdays affects hippocampal gray matter volume in healthy children. Neuroimage60(1), 471-475.

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