We all know that sleep is important. Restful sleep helps to “recharge” your system, decrease stress hormones, and reduce fatigue, but you probably didn’t know that it’s also vitally important to protecting your brain from toxicity, damage, and even debilitating diseases like Alzheimer’s.
In a recent study conducted at the University of Rochester Medical Center, researchers discovered that it’s during sleep that the brain clears out potential harmful waste the builds up during the day.
You see, as you sleep your brain pumps spinal fluid into the brain to “flush out” waste into the circulatory system and eventually to the liver for removal. Because this process is very energy intensive, it’s difficult for the brain to perform it during the day while already over-active and preoccupied with performing every day tasks.
Instead, researchers found that sleeping brains were able to clear out much more amyloid-beta, the plaque-building protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Take home message: If you want to keep your brain healthy and free of toxins, strive for 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night. Nothing new there, but this information just may cause you to make it more of a priority!