There is no renouncing the link between a good night’s sleep and a healthier life. Simply put, getting the recommended amount of sleep will work wonders on the way you feel, both physically and mentally. The amount of sleep that an individual needs can vary between individuals, but, on average, an adult requires around seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
When you prioritize sleep, you are prioritizing your health. Sleep helps to curb an insatiable appetite and also works to burn more fat. It can work to reduce the amount of stress you feel every day, which lowers blood pressure levels, as well as cholesterol levels, both of which increase the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease. While these physical benefits are to be celebrated, there is a significant amount of activity that occurs “behind the scenes” that we don’t even realize is happening, mostly because our brain works in silence.
Throughout the day, we are constantly stimulating our minds. From the moment we open our eyes in the morning to the second our eyelids succumb to the heaviness of sleep at the end of the day, our brains are in constant activity. But even in sleep, our brains are still at work, but in a much different way. The thought is that, when we rest, our brains work diligently to clean themselves.
How The Brain Rids Itself Of Toxins During Sleep
So far, this has only been studied in mice, but it’s thought that the brain works similarly in humans. While the mice slept, the amount of cerebrospinal fluid in their brain increased, which acted in removing the harmful proteins that accumulated between their brain cells while they were awake. This process, as described by Dr. Maiken Nedergaard, a professor of neurosurgery, is akin to how a dishwasher cleans waste particles from a used plate after dinnertime.
If this study is true, it could really work to cement the connection between sleep and brain disorders. These proteins that get washed away during this cleaning process are toxic to the brain, which lends itself to the dangers of not getting enough sleep every night. If humans and animals go too long without sleep, it could be fatal.
If you often neglect sleep in an effort to extend your day, taking advantage of as many waking hours as you can, you are doing your health a dangerous disservice. Not only will a lack of sleep show itself in your mental capacities and physical well-being, it could lead to irreversible damage, like Alzheimer’s and other serious brain disorders.