Sleep Cleans Brain Toxins

  • Published
  • By Diana Ford, MA, LPC
  • 117 ARW Director, Psychological Health (DPH)
As you may know, sometimes I get up on my soapbox and talk about the importance of getting adequate sleep, and I'm going to do it again. For all those folks out there who tell me they're perfectly fine getting by on five or six hours of sleep at night, think again. This research suggests that it is only during sleep that our brains can remove the waste products that build up during the time we're awake. One of the waste products that builds up is a gunky substance called beta amyloid, and it is this stuff which fouls up brain function in Alzheimer's.

In the "olden times", there was a belief that the brain was dormant during sleep. Due to new technology that supports increased brain and sleep research, this old belief is proven wrong. Our brains are highly active during the sleep cycles; they are busy doing tasks other than being conscious. Seven to eight hours per 24-hour period is recommended in order to allow for adequate restorative sleep and memory consolidation.

The field of sleep research is blooming with new ideas, and the following link will allow you to read or listen to a radio broadcast summary on "brain cleaning".

To your health and well-being!