Sleep that knits up the raveled sleave of care,
The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,
Chief nourisher in life’s feast.
The brain uses sleep to wash away the waste toxins built up during a hard day's thinking, researchers have shown. The US team believe the "waste removal system" is one of the fundamental reasons for sleep. Their study, in the journal Science, showed brain cells shrink during sleep to open up the gaps between neurons and allow fluid to wash the brain clean.
They also suggest that failing to clear away some toxic proteins may play a role in brain disorders.
Their findings build on last year's discovery of the brain's own network of plumbing pipes - known as the glymphatic system - which carry waste material out of the brain. Scientists, who imaged the brains of mice, showed that the glymphatic system became 10-times more active when the mice were asleep.
Cells in the brain, probably the glial cells which keep nerve cells alive, shrink during sleep. This increases the size of the interstitial space, the gaps between brain tissue, allowing more fluid to be pumped in and wash the toxins away.
Dr Nedergaard said this was a "vital" function for staying alive, but did not appear to be possible while the mind was awake.
A run of poor sleep can have a potentially profound effect on the internal workings of the human body, say UK researchers. The activity of hundreds of genes was altered when people's sleep was cut to less than six hours a day for a week.
Heart disease, diabetes, obesity and poor brain function have all been linked to substandard sleep.
Prof Colin Smith, from the University of Surrey, " "Clearly sleep is critical to rebuilding the body and maintaining a functional state, all kinds of damage appear to occur - hinting at what may lead to ill health.
"If we can't actually replenish and replace new cells, then that's going to lead to degenerative diseases."
1. Darkness. Cover up any blue lights and blinking lights. Avoid screens for an hour before you go to bed.
"Sleeping in low light is important," says Mednick. "You need the hormone melatonin to sleep, and melatonin is only released under low-light conditions."
2. Cool room. "The room temp needs to be on the cooler side," says Daniel McNally, MD, MD, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the University of Connecticut Health Center. "Your body temperature tracks your circadian rhythm, so as night begins, your body temp falls and it reaches a minimum right after you go to bed. If you are in an environment where you can't lose body heat, for instance if it's hot and humid, you won't sleep well."
3. Noise control. Mask intrusive sounds with background noise, like a fan or sound machine.
4. Comfortable bed, soft pillows and cotton sheets
Foods That Help or Harm Your Sleep Milk and carbs help. Avoid protein, high fat, heavy, spicy foods.Posted by Jill Fallon at October 17, 2013 11:18 PM | Permalink