Sleep is imperative for mental and emotional health. If you are sleep deprived, your brain will not be able to function at its full capacity. Sleep deprivation can compromise some of your basic skills, such as problem solving and creative and critical thinking skills. These skills are essential for helping you to make better decisions. According to researchers, losing three or four hours of sleep for just one night can negatively affect brain memory. Some researchers believe that sleeping for eight hours straight allows the brain to shift temporary memories to an area of the brain that is responsible for long-term memory.