Is your brain slowly rotting every night?

That's not the plot of the latest horror movie or even some exotic new illness – the latest research links insomnia to Alzheimer's disease.

If it's true, it doesn't surprise me in the least. All those late nights aren't just making people tired and crabby – they're killing us, plain and simple.

But first, they destroy our brains.

Researchers at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis studied mice that had been engineered to have an Alzheimer's-like condition. They found that when these mice were awake, levels of amyloid-beta – a protein linked to the condition – rose. When the mice slept, those levels fell.

But when the mice were forced to stay awake – like many of us force ourselves to, nearly every night – those levels really shot up. And the researchers believe this happens in our brains, too, sleepless night after sleepless night.

And believe me, if that's causing dementia, we're going to see an explosion of Alzheimer's in a few years.

Today's kids are raised on mega-doses of caffeine, sugar-filled energy drinks, and violent videogames. They're killing brain cells every night as they play these games and send text messages until dawn, and then fade in and out of consciousness all day long at school.

But that's perfect training for life as a 21st-century adult. Too many grown men and women suffer from sleep disorders, many of their own making. Plenty of us even willingly sacrifice that crucial sleep in a pointless attempt to keep up with the rat pack at work.

Bad move, pal – that big promotion today isn't going to mean squat if it costs you your mind tomorrow.

Don't look to sleeping pills with their bizarre and even deadly side effects for answers. If you can't cure your insomnia with lifestyle changes such as earlier bedtimes, then you probably need an HGH boost. Skip the kind that comes in a bottle and head straight to your doctor for some prescription-strength injections, four times a week until you're straightened out.

Add a nightly dose of melatonin to the mix, and you'll be sleeping like a baby in no time.