TEDMED – One more reason to get a good night’s sleep

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Research paper: Sleep Drives Metabolite Clearance from the Adult Brain, DOI: 10.1126/science.1241224

Important points:

  • Brain has no lymphatic system to clean it
  • During sleep brain cells seem to shrink
  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) acts as a detoxing agent removing toxins built up while the brain is conscious.
  • CSF influx only happens during sleep. It is inhibited during wakefulness.

and we discovered that at the same time when the brain goes to sleep, the brain cells themselves seem to shrink, opening up spaces in between them, allowing [cerebrospinal fluid – CSF] fluid to rush through and allowing waste to be cleared out.

But our most surprising finding was that all of this, everything I just told you about, with all this fluid rushing through the brain, it’s only happening in the sleeping brain.

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