Lack of sleep spells trouble for the memory says a study. Reuters

Memory distortion can cause a lot of heartburn, especially if you have been called in for eyewitness identification and cannot recall anything.

A lack of sleep can lead to exactly that, says a study by researchers at Michigan State University and University of California.

Participants were kept awake for 24 hours. Even those who got five or fewer hours of sleep were shown to mix up event detail. While missing sleep one day can be handled, the scientists warned that long-term sleep deprivation could hamper your memory.

The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, demonstrated how participants deprived of a night's sleep could not recall the details of a simulated burglary they were shown in a series of images.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls insufficient sleep an epidemic, linking it to vehicle crashes, industrial disasters and chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.