Latest News » Researchers discover cleansing benefits of sleep for brain health

Sleep can promote brain health in many ways.

Recently on this blog, we discussed the importance of consistent, high-quality sleep for brain health and overall well-being. Studies have indicated that failing to rest fully on a regular basis can exacerbate serious conditions like heart disease and diabetes, and may even be linked to an increased likelihood of developing such ailments. Now, a new study has gone a step further, demonstrating that sleep could be essential for warding off toxins that contribute to cognitive decline.

Given the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, researchers have been working feverishly to better understand the nature of this degeneration and how it may be combated or reversed. According to a recent press release, scientists from the University of Rochester in New York state have discovered a neurological process that occurs during sleep and may contribute directly to day-to-day brain health.

"Sleep changes the cellular structure of the brain. It appears to be a completely different state," said lead author Dr. Maiken Nedergaard

Dr. Nedergaard and her colleagues observed that the space between our brain cells increases as we sleep, indicating that toxins and other matter or actually flushed out of these cavities. This cleansing process, the researchers posit, could influence the development and severity of multiple conditions that affect memory support.

"We need sleep. It cleans up the brain," Dr. Nedergaard concluded.

We all know that sleep is essential to help our minds and bodies prepare for a new day, but this study indicates that there is always more to learn about how processes we take for granted can actively protect us from harmful diseases.

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