By: Elizabeth Renter
Although we don’t know exactly why, there is no question that sleep is crucial for brain and overall health. Without proper sleep, the chance of disease and stress increases notably. Now, researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) Center for Translational Neuromedicine have foundthat sleeping actually helps detoxify the brain, potentially offering clues into dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
The study, published in the journal Science, reveals that your brain has a unique method of removing toxic waste through ‘the glymphatic system’. Even more interesting, it seems that brain cells shrink by about 60% during sleep, allowing for waste to be removed more easily.
“Sleep changes the cellular structure of the brain,” said Maiken Nedergaard, co-author of the study. “It appears to be a completely different state.”