Deep Sleep Vs. Dementia, Your Brain’s Detox Cycle May Help:
There are a lot of mysteries still out there in the world for Science to solve.
Whether it’s why nature, people, or even diseases exist in the odd ways they do.
During that investigation some ancient ideas are refuted, or even confirmed in some cases.
But for one part of us, Technology is only in its early stages of being able to confirm those ancient conceptual insights.
And a recent investigation by a BU led team may have just found out a function of sleep that is very important for one of our worst health nemeses…
Science Discovers More Value In Simple Things:
So for a long time, Science has actually wondered what the hell Sleep was for.
There were at-times arguments made that it didn’t seem to serve a purpose.
Including some fairly-recently.
Which is of-course, nuts, because we can all guess that it’s got to be for some kind of restorative-process.
You go to sleep feeling beat & tired, you wake up the next day feeling great.
And The Short Answer for the current study suggests that one of sleep’s main purposes is to clean out your brain using the fluid that surrounds it, and this could help us avoid more than one type of serious diseases.
Read on to find out the details…
First, An RU Team Discovers The Brain’s Sewer System:
So it’s true that there are still some people out there who question the value of sleep.
And not just crazy people like Tim Ferriss who want you to work only 4 hours a week.
But a short while ago, we found out something very interesting about the brain that might just be tied to it.
For every input in your body, there is an output.
For every process and even mistake, there is a way to clean it up, and maybe even fix it.
And a Rochester team found that is also true, even for your brain.
No, it’s not just the circulatory-system that moves things around.
Your brain is like the internet, it has a series of tubes.
And the tubes in your brain are its cleaning system!
-Which must be very-important, because for most of your body, that cleaning system is the same as the circulatory-system.
So the brain has 2 of them!
Your Body And Brain Were Built To Clean Themselves:
This little system of tubes runs roughly-parallel to some of your brain’s blood-vessels,
And at-night, they found just like in the current study, that the fluid in your brain flushes all through it,
And seems to wash out all the junk that accumulated when it was working during the day.
In that study, the researchers were able to somehow measure this amount.
And it looks like that system of little pipes they called “The Glymphatic System”,
Rinses out at-least 50% of the total-waste at night, during Sleep.
So just like Intermittent-Fasting would suggest your metabolism needs time to do other things than just digest food,
Your Brain also needs some downtime to do other things than think for you.
And the type of waste-product those Rochester guys found got blasted out through those tubes by the high-pressure fluid?
Amyloid-Beta! The same stuff that’s the main problem in Alzheimer’s Disease!
BRAINS!: The Current Study’s Results On The Sleep Rinse & Clean Cycle:
So where does that leave the current study?
A very important next-chapter.
Because it wasn’t just done on mice; the BU team found 11 adults to scan in an MRI while they were sleeping.
And what they found was your brain does at least a few funny things during 1 part of sleep.
1) Your neural activity slows way down
2) You enter something called Slow-Wave Sleep
3) Blood flows out of your brain and into your body
4) The volume of your brain-cells shrinks a little because of this
5) High-pressure Cerebro-Spinal-Fluid rushes in everywhere it can and balances that pressure
6) Blood Rushes Back In
7) The CSF very likely flushes out all kinds of waste products
8) Steps 2-7 Repeat every 20 seconds for more than 1 hour total per night
Not only did Laura Lewis’ team do this test on human subjects,
Because of the motion-graphics nature of MRIs, they actually took Video of it happening in real-time!
We’re Now Realizing Sleep Is Far More Important Than We Thought:
Now if you pair that with the previous study on The Glymphatic System,
It’s looking like high-quality Sleep is amazingly important not just for brain-health,
But also to avoid Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia, and maybe a few others, as much as possible.
Because the earlier stuff is really persuasive that a part of that wast being flushed out,
Really is the same stuff most-implicated in Alzheimer’s.
Furthermore, this flushing process seems to happen exclusively in that Slow-Wave or NREM sleep.
Take one guess at one of the key sleep-problems older people have.
Fewer and fewer cycles of Slow-Wave Sleep as they get older!
Next, They Have To Test People Who Are At The Highest-Risk:
And on that note, simply because the easiest population for the team to get volunteers from was younger people,
The next step would be for BU to find older volunteers,
So that they could check them throughout a night of sleep to see if this CSF-flushing system is working at-all for them.
And if we’re Really, Really lucky, perhaps correlate those data-sets back into Behavior.
Because: if there is something a person can Do, even into old-age, that will:
1) Help maintain healthy sleep cycles
2) Keep that flushing-system working as best it can
Then perhaps there is something we all can add to our routines to make things better for ourselves.
No Drug Yet, So Hopefully, They Can Deduce The Right Behaviors!:
Because right now, the process by-which your body slows down neurons, exits blood from the brain,
And then initiates the 20-second-runs of CSF-cleaning is a mystery.
There is No Drug right now on the menu that the researchers have mentioned as a prospect for helping people clean their brains by increasing slow-wave sleep, and thus avoid Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
If any, those studies on any sleep-related-drugs are far down the road.
Not only that, but many drugs that are alleged Sleep-Aids like anything related to Diphenhydramine-HCL,
Have a Positive Correlation with Alzheimer’s Disease and have been put on the Dangerous Drugs List
Of meds that may actually Hurt your brain and not help it.
JUMP BONUS! Video Of The CSF Rinse-Cycle In-Action!:
The Best Behavioral Info We Have To Avoid Dementia So Far:
And one of the best things you can do is to keep yourself apprised of such lists into the future.
Because the best thing we have right now that may have even a little chance of staving off Dementia are the following:
1) Reduce Saturated Fats and Increase Anthocyanins in your diet
2) Eat a Mediterranean Diet
3) Cardiovascular Exercise, Preferably Running
4) Maybe Taking Daily 90-Minute Naps
5) Possibly Through Reduction Of Brain-Inflammation via These Old drugs A, and B
6) Possibly Eating More Mushrooms
7) Maybe? Low-Dose Alcohol
8) Possibly Ultrasound Or Electrical Devices
Otherwise, we all have to wait until BU can come up with a brain-healthy sleep-aid that can initiate the NREM Cleanup System our brains have.
Excepting that though, the findings are still an amazing discovery on the path to cure,
And understanding the brain’s CSF rinse-and-detox system will pay many dividends toward preventing brain-diseases like Alzheimer’s in the future!
• Source: BU The Brink
• More Coverage: NeuroChemRes. – The Glymphatic System: A Beginner’s Guide | Harvard – Patterns In Healthy Sleep
• Source Study: Science – Coupled electrophysiological, hemodynamic, and cerebrospinal fluid oscillations in human sleep