At Sleep City, we are always dedicated to getting you the sleep you deserve, whether that means finding you the perfect bed, or informing you on the latest in sleep news. And now we have even more incentive! According to Forbes, a new study has found that a good night’s sleep tonight may help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia later in life.
Sleep is beneficial to your body for a number of reasons, and although experts still debate the “biological purpose” of sleep, one things is certain: sleep is very important to our overall health and wellness, both mentally and physically. Each night, while you dream, your brain is actually processing all of the information it gained from the previous day’s experiences and disposing of the waste. Ever wonder why your dreams often directly reflect certain moments or thoughts you had from the day before? It’s your brains way of processing the information in preparation for the next day’s experiences. Without this important step, your brain literally gets clogged with information and the next day is always a little slow, if you know what I mean. Ask any college kid, and they can tell you that the day after an all-nighter is often not the most productive.
The study takes this idea one step further and concludes that “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” (Sleep Drives Metabolite Clearance from Adult Brain). In other words, each night your brain “takes out the trash” while it sleeps. During the day, your brain cells produce a level of toxic waste while they work, then, while you sleep, this waste is disposed of, leaving a clean work space for the next day.
Forbes details an experiment in which the study used mice to explore the restorative function of sleep. They explain that “when the mice slept, brain cells actually shrunk in size, expanding the spaces in between them by as much as 60 percent and facilitating the flushing of waste” (A Good Night’s Sleep Could Ward Off Alzheimer’s).
Although these new findings do not necessarily eradicate Alzheimer’s from our lives, they do imply that with a proper night’s sleep each night, we may slow the potential effects of Alzheimer’s later on in life. In addition, the study explains that the findings may also explain why we feel cranky after a night of limited or no sleep. It seems that toxic waste is not exactly conducive to feeling chipper in the morning. All the more reason to get a great night’s sleep!
Cheers and sleep well.