In the study, participants were shown photographs of a crime being committed. They read false information about the photos. The sleep-deprived people were more likely to remember the false details in the photos than those who got a full night's sleep.

The research said that people getting five hours of sleep or less were more prone to formation of false memories. It also suggested that distorted memory can have serious consequences in areas such as criminal justice, researchers said.

"Over the years I noticed that whenever I had a bad night's sleep, my perception and memory seemed to get fuzzy until I had a good recovery sleep,"  explained psychological scientist Steven J. Frenda from University of California, Irvine.

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in US says insufficient sleep is an epidemic. It also states that insufficient sleep is also linked with vehicle crashes, industrial disasters and chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes.

The study was published in the journal Psychological Science.

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