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Sleep Cleans The Brain
Have you ever wondered why you need to sleep (and not just because you know you have to in order to survive), but really ever wondered the real ‘why’? If asked why we do, most of us wouldn’t be able to give the correct answer, in regards to the importance of sleep and how it impacts brain health.
Your Brain Cleans Itself While You Sleep
During sleep, your brain cleans out all the toxins that have accumulated while you’re awake. The cellular structure of the brain changes during sleep. One study published showed that the brain cells shrink during sleep, creating gaps between the tissues, allowing the neurological waste to be passed out and flushed away.
This waste removal system of the brain is what experts refer to as the glymphatic system. This glymphatic system has been found to be ten times more active when a person is sleeping. The brain flushes the waste through its cerebrospinal fluid. The same fluid is responsible for bringing in nutrients to the brain.
Getting Enough Sleep Lowers Your Risk of Alzheimer’s
This cleaning process does more than get rid of toxins. Another important reason to get plenty of sleep is to enable the brain to flush out beta-amyloid proteins. If your brain is healthy these proteins are flushed out easily, however, if it isn’t healthy, these beta-amyloids can accumulate as sticky plaque and cause problems. The plaque has been found in larger amounts in patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
If you don’t get enough sleep, your brain cannot do its cleaning process which can result in the accumulation of neurotoxins such as beta-amyloid proteins.
More Beta-Amyloid Problems
Another study was aimed at determining how sleep can help prevent the onset of memory impairment. One of the findings suggested that the beta-amyloids played a role in preventing a person from getting enough sleep. This in turn triggered the onset of chronic sleep deprivation.