Sleep is "detox" for the brain
Sleep is vital for the brain to wash away built up toxins and restore brain cell function, according to new research.
According to the study, published in the journal Science, this “detox” process in the brain may protect against many conditions which lead to the loss of brain cells.
The researchers examined the brains of sleeping mice and found that while they slept, their brain cells shrunk, thereby increasing the size of the gaps between brain tissue and allowing more fluid to be pumped in to wash the brain’s toxins away.
The findings suggest that people with certain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, might have problems with the brain’s cleaning mechanism, but the scientists acknowledge that more research is needed.