To sleep, perchance to… cleanse your brain


Brains Sweep Themselves Clean Of Toxins During Sleep

…As if we need another reason to get a good night’s sleep!

This article on NPR.org, called “Brains sweep themselves clean of toxins during sleep,” discusses the new discovery of channels that cleanse your brain by whooshing out harmful toxins while you snooze.

Snippets:

  • During sleep, cerebral fluid flows through the brain, like a dishwasher, or irrigation in a monoculture field, or a gentle fire hydrant.
  • In mice, the process is “almost like opening and closing a faucet.” During sleep, brain cells shrink to allow more fluid to move through. Then when the mice wake up, brain cells swell back up and the washout ceases. This is likely why the brain doesn’t cleanse itself all the time.
  • There is an association between sleep disorders and brain diseases, including Alzheimer’s. “Beta amyloid concentrations continue to increase while a person is awake, and then after people go to sleep that concentration of beta amyloid decreases.”
  • More details on the study in this article on NIH.gov.

Takeaways?

  • It’s important to sleep (for detoxification which prolongs the life of brain cells, but also for stable blood sugar, emotions and executive function. See this article on Zengar NeurOptimal’s blog for more info about sleep (this is the company that makes the neurofeedback machine that I use in my practice).
  • Drink water! If you are dehydrated, you will lack the fluid to create enough cerebrospinal fluid to wash out the brain.
  • Get massage. Massage opens up all channels in the body, especially lymph, which is the system that helps remove the toxins that were washed out overnight and keep others from building up and damaging your tissues. For a great massage therapist, refer to iHEC Staunton.

 

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