Inadequate sleep has been linked to weight gain and increased stress. And too little shuteye can leave us feeling distracted. But now, research is suggesting that sleep is also essential to “clean brains” – it can help scrub our brains of “gunk” that could cause neurological disorders.
Scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center previously discovered a network in mice brains that is responsible for cleaning out toxic waste.
They followed the progress of beta-amyloid, a protein that accumulates in people with Alzheimer’s disease, and found that it was cleaned out faster in the brains of sleeping mice than their wide-awake counterparts.
Researchers conclude it makes sense that the human brain also benefits from a good night’s cleaning and will look for the process in humans.