How to detox the brain with sleep.
Fun fact: we spend almost 1/3 of our lives asleep! Not all of us are maximizing sleep the way we should and there is good reason to get more of this “brain cleaner”.
I’ve mentioned before that until recently the reason why we sleep was thought to be the brain simply going to sleep, that it really didn’t do anything for us except send us into a coma like state in which nothing much really happened.
More and more evidence is coming to light that proves to us that sleep is a necessity, particularly all the stages of sleep, and lack of sleep can lead to a “dirtier brain” with more and more toxic build up.
The glymphatic system (or the glymphatic system pathway), much like the lymphatic system needs movement to “take out the trash” or detox. Sleep provides us with a metabolic homeostasis (balance). According to Science Mag “Thus, the restorative function of sleep may be a consequence of the enhanced removal of potentially neurotoxic waste products that accumulate in the awake central nervous system”.
This “..builds on Nedergaard’s recent discovery, described last summer in Science Translational Medicine, of a network of microscopic, fluid-filled channels that clears toxins from the brain, much as the lymphatic system clears out metabolic waste products from the rest of the body. Instead of carrying lymph, this system transports waste-laden cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Before the discovery of this “glymphatic system,” as Nedergaard has dubbed it, the brain’s only known method for disposing of cellular trash was to break down and recycle it within individual cells, she says.
One of the huge benefits of this “clean up” is that “Such proteins can aggregate as pathogenic plaques inside cells and are associated with Alzheimer’s disease”.
Other disease states such as stroke or or dementia, she states, are greatly associated with sleep disturbances. Leading more growing evidence to take your sleep as seriously as you do your job or your diet.
According to “biohacker” David Asprey (think bullet proof coffee) “If you improve your mitochondrial function during sleep, you’ll turbocharge your brain’s maintenance system and get more cleanup done in fewer hours of sleep”. In his article “How to detox your brain by hacking your glymphatic system” he goes on to list core recommendations which influence the flow of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) and how it “enters the brain”.
It seems that anything we can do, not only to reduce inflammation in the body, but also in the brain will help to enhance our sleep cycles and the clearing out of the “garbage” to keep our brains healthy and functioning optimally.
Do you wake up “clear headed” in the morning? Do you feel like you’ve had a good nights sleep? Let me know in a comment below.