How Sleep Helps The Brain Clean Itself

Home » How Sleep Helps The Brain Clean Itself

Our brain functions differently during the day, some of us overstress it with our activities that may or may not be intentional. It is very important we do not compromise the few hours of sleep at night as sleep gives the brain a chance to clean itself. 

Now, let’s take a look at this scenario: A car needs fuel to work right? So, if you don’t fuel a car, how do you expect it to move?

Same as if you don’t get the required sleep at night, how do you expect yourself to function better the next day?

Sleep helps consolidate memories and repair the body. It is important we get at least 6 hours of sleep per night to allow the brain to clean up and reboot from the previous day’s activities. 

Studies have shown that the brain has a unique method of waste removal, known as the glymphatic system, some sort of plumbing system that washes away toxins by pumping cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) through spaces between brain cells. So when the brain is awake, cells are closer together, thereby restricting the flow of CSF.

CSF washes away toxic metabolites, degradation products that brain cells secrete during regular tasks in waking hours. The timely removal of waste from the brain is essential because the accumulation of toxic proteins such as beta-amyloid can lead to neurodegenerative diseases.

Another researcher, Dr. Yuka Sasaki said, “It’s an intensive activity for the brain to consolidate learning and so the brain may benefit from sleep, perhaps because more energy is available or because distractions and new inputs are fewer.” 

Having said these, it turns out that too much sleep is also harmful (recommended hours for sleep is between 7 – 9 hours). For long sleepers, the association with coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes is even stronger with excess sleep. 

The president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), Dr. Safwan Badr, says “Sleeping longer doesn’t mean that you’re sleeping well. It is important to understand that both the quality and quantity of sleep impact your health”. He also added that it is critical for adults to aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night to receive the health benefits of sleep, but this is especially true for those battling a chronic condition.

The verdict (scientifically) is that getting the right amount of sleep is good for our brains and improves our looks.

So, whenever you are torn between going to sleep and stealing a little time for more work, you now understand the reasons why you should choose sleep!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *