How Deep Sleep Helps Your Brain "Clean" Itself - Deepstash
How Deep Sleep Helps Your Brain "Clean" Itself

How Deep Sleep Helps Your Brain "Clean" Itself

Curated from: brainworldmagazine.com

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How Deep Sleep Helps Your Brain “Clean” Itself

How Deep Sleep Helps Your Brain “Clean” Itself

The research shows that sleep may have other, more sophisticated purposes rather than simply recharging the body after a day of hard work or strenuous decision making. Recent studies suggest that sleep is paramount to our ability to forget things — that toxins in the brain help us filter what sensory details we need to remember and what we can let go of.

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What Happens While We Sleep

What Happens While We Sleep

Dr. Laura Lewis and her team of researchers at Boston University found out that during deep sleep, toxic compounds in the brain like beta amyloid, found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, were wiped out.

Lewis wondered why this process only took place during sleep and more importantly, what mechanics were involved. She suspected the source to be cerebrospinal fluid, a clear, watery substance that flows around the brain using valves. 

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The Unknown Benefits Of Deep Sleep

The Unknown Benefits Of Deep Sleep

In deep sleep, the cerebrospinal fluid acted like waves on a lake splashing over the brain. During this period, the neurons would gradually stop firing, requiring less oxygen which in turn meant less blood flow to the brain. As the blood flow decreased, the rest of the space would fill with cerebrospinal fluid.

When awake, brain blood levels don’t drop enough to allow waves of cerebrospinal fluid to circulate around the brain and clear out all the metabolic byproducts that accumulate as we function, like beta amyloid, a protein that disrupts neural connectivity in patients with Alzheimer’s.

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How To Have a Good Night

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Improving sleep through mindful breathing exercises

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Establishing a relaxing bedtime routine

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