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(27,331 posts)
Mon Apr 15, 2024, 05:15 PM Apr 15

Sleeping more flushes junk out of the brain

As if we didn’t have enough reasons to get at least eight hours of sleep, there is now one more. Neurons are still active during sleep. We may not realize it, but the brain takes advantage of this recharging period to get rid of junk that was accumulating during waking hours.

Sleep is something like a soft reboot. We knew that slow brainwaves had something to do with restful sleep; researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have now found out why. When we are awake, our neurons require energy to fuel complex tasks such as problem-solving and committing things to memory. The problem is that debris gets left behind after they consume these nutrients. As we sleep, neurons use these rhythmic waves to help move cerebrospinal fluid through brain tissue, carrying out metabolic waste in the process.

In other words, neurons need to take out the trash so it doesn’t accumulate and potentially contribute to neurodegenerative diseases. “Neurons serve as master organizers for brain clearance,” the WUSTL research team said in a study recently published in Nature.

Human brains (and those of other higher organisms) evolved to have billions of neurons in the functional tissue, or parenchyma, of the brain, which is protected by the blood-brain barrier.



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Sleeping more flushes junk out of the brain (Original Post) Coventina Apr 15 OP
not if your brain is running rampid all night. AllaN01Bear Apr 15 #1
Rampant. Get more sleep. nt Xipe Totec Apr 15 #12
Interesting..thx Demovictory9 Apr 15 #2
This afternoon I read about a woman with Idiopathic hypersomnia progressoid Apr 15 #3
Interesting. Susan Calvin Apr 15 #10
This podcast talks about that a bit. progressoid Apr 16 #22
I've been checking into this, slightlv Apr 15 #11
Here's the article. I read it at my neurologist's office. progressoid Apr 16 #21
Hypothyroidism (underdactive thyroid gland) causes wnylib Apr 15 #16
My pulmonologist tells me I have sleep apnea Bayard Apr 16 #27
maybe sleeping in court.... bahboo Apr 15 #4
Are you kidding? If sleep flushes out all the junk, bhikkhu Apr 15 #7
So give Trump sleeping tablets to get rid of the wnylib Apr 15 #17
We evolved over eons to sleep when it is dark. Sky Jewels Apr 15 #5
I think that you have made a very reasonable observation. 70sEraVet Apr 15 #8
It was common in the middle ages for people to sleep in two parts. meadowlander Apr 15 #14
Yes! My husband was telling me about that. Sky Jewels Apr 15 #19
Thanks. So true! With one exception: there will never be enough sleep to flush the junk out of Trump's brain. ancianita Apr 15 #6
Beat me to it. nt Richard D Apr 15 #9
His brain is of the "low flow" ilk. Buns_of_Fire Apr 16 #28
Amen. He can also ancianita Apr 16 #29
Coventina......... Upthevibe Apr 15 #13
Glad you enjoyed the post! Coventina Apr 15 #20
I have had what my "industrial strength insomnia". BigmanPigman Apr 15 #15
I am the same way, and so is my adult daughter. Silver Gaia Apr 16 #23
Take out the trash, organize files etc. nt cliffside Apr 15 #18
i read a report a while back that during rem sleep, spinal fluid circulates quickly. mopinko Apr 16 #24
I completely agree. BadGimp Apr 16 #25
imma take a nap prodigitalson Apr 16 #26
Oh, I don't believe that. tavernier Apr 16 #30


(50,143 posts)
3. This afternoon I read about a woman with Idiopathic hypersomnia
Mon Apr 15, 2024, 06:06 PM
Apr 15

Idiopathic hypersomnia is an uncommon sleep disorder that causes you to be very sleepy during the day even after a full night of good sleep. Its cause is unknown. It also often causes difficulty waking up after you've been asleep. If you take a nap, you generally don't feel refreshed and you may wake up confused and disoriented.

The need to sleep can strike at any time, including when you're driving a car or working, which makes idiopathic hypersomnia potentially dangerous.

The condition often develops gradually. Diagnosing idiopathic hypersomnia requires ruling out more-common sleep disorders. The aim of treatment is to control symptoms with medication.



(50,143 posts)
22. This podcast talks about that a bit.
Tue Apr 16, 2024, 02:08 AM
Apr 16

There appears to be some overlap. It's about a third of the way into to podcast.


I posted below that I listened to this podcast a couple weeks ago. Then today, I found this article. Weird coincidence.



(3,192 posts)
11. I've been checking into this,
Mon Apr 15, 2024, 07:49 PM
Apr 15

cause I hit all the points listed, and it's really been affecting my life negatively. I've got a doc's appt (medicare checkup) in a couple of weeks, and plan on bringing it up with her.


(50,143 posts)
21. Here's the article. I read it at my neurologist's office.
Tue Apr 16, 2024, 02:01 AM
Apr 16

Coincidentally, I listened to a Science Friday podcast about this a couple weeks ago:

Ira discusses the science of sleepiness with Dr. Quinn Eastman, science writer and author of The Woman Who Couldn’t Wake Up: Hypersomnia and the Science of Sleepiness, and Diana Kimmel, co-founder of the Hypersomnia Alliance, and board member of the Hypersomnia Foundation.



(22,341 posts)
16. Hypothyroidism (underdactive thyroid gland) causes
Mon Apr 15, 2024, 09:37 PM
Apr 15

similar sleep problems. Doctors can rule that out with a simple, easy blood test for TSH levels. I'd hope that it would be checked, along with other possible causes.


(22,647 posts)
27. My pulmonologist tells me I have sleep apnea
Tue Apr 16, 2024, 04:56 PM
Apr 16

He keeps trying to get me into one of those sleep clinics.

I've started taking afternoon naps lately when I just can't keep my eyes open.


(10,732 posts)
7. Are you kidding? If sleep flushes out all the junk,
Mon Apr 15, 2024, 07:09 PM
Apr 15

one good night sleep and Trump could wake up a vegetable, like a full-brain wipe!

Sky Jewels

(7,337 posts)
5. We evolved over eons to sleep when it is dark.
Mon Apr 15, 2024, 06:29 PM
Apr 15

Up until the last 100 years or so, I'd imagine most people routinely got 8 or 9 or 10 or more hours of sleep. Those who had to get up at dawn to milk cows and such probably went to bed early, not long after the last meal of the day was done.


(3,674 posts)
8. I think that you have made a very reasonable observation.
Mon Apr 15, 2024, 07:39 PM
Apr 15

I've worked night shift most of my adult life. And you can 'trick' your body into believing that daytime is really night time -- when i would come home after work, a while after dawn, I would have my 'supper' and go to bed with black curtains over the bedroom windows and turn on some white noise so that I wouldnt be disturbed by neighbors mowing their lawns.
But, of course, weekends screw with that deception; your wife and kids are NOT going pretend that 10AM is the middle of the night!
Like all lies, the ones you tell your body DO catch up to you!


(4,427 posts)
14. It was common in the middle ages for people to sleep in two parts.
Mon Apr 15, 2024, 08:34 PM
Apr 15

So they slept while it was dark but usually got up for an hour or two in the middle of the night and then overall still got 8 or so hours of sleep. That gave them a chance to put more wood on the fire, do some quiet chores, and make more babies given lots of families only had one or two beds and all slept in the same room.


(36,566 posts)
6. Thanks. So true! With one exception: there will never be enough sleep to flush the junk out of Trump's brain.
Mon Apr 15, 2024, 06:53 PM
Apr 15


(17,342 posts)
28. His brain is of the "low flow" ilk.
Tue Apr 16, 2024, 05:01 PM
Apr 16

He would have to sleep at least 10 to 15 times a night to get the really chunky stuff out.


(36,566 posts)
29. Amen. He can also
Tue Apr 16, 2024, 05:41 PM
Apr 16

sleep all he wants once he's in prison. He suffers early dementia and severe narcissistic disorder. So there's no rehabilitating that brain.

Right now as a criminal defendant, like it or not, he must behave himself and honor court justice.


(8,267 posts)
13. Coventina.........
Mon Apr 15, 2024, 08:20 PM
Apr 15

Thanks for this post. As I've progressed in years (a.k.a. gotten older-LOL) I'm sleeping a lot more! I normally take a nap (that's at least an hour-and I've read that in some cases it's healthier to limit one's naps to about 30 minutes -but anyhow) I've been sleeping at least eight hours a night and sometimes nine....


(51,846 posts)
15. I have had what my "industrial strength insomnia".
Mon Apr 15, 2024, 09:22 PM
Apr 15

I have had it all my life and have tried everything. It is a real pain in the ass when you are awake when others are asleep. You can't get anything done and feel like jet lag every single day. It sucks!

Silver Gaia

(4,565 posts)
23. I am the same way, and so is my adult daughter.
Tue Apr 16, 2024, 11:34 AM
Apr 16

Now that I am retired from working outside my home and do all my work online from home and mostly at night, it is less of a problem, but I have been plagued with this and perpetually sleep-deprived most of my life. I have come to the conclusion that my (and my daughter's) circadian rhythm is just different.

I recently was traumatized by a technician at a "sleep study" my doctors wanted me to do. It was from 7pm to 5am. I told them I didn't think I would be able to sleep much, if any. They said I should try it anyway.

I went prepared to give it my best shot. I have a Kindle on my tablet that I have set to black background with pale cream text, with brightness as low as it will go and a blue light blocker turned on. Reading is my best bet to lull my brain to shut the hell up, and it usually works with the Kindle. I had told the tech I would need to read on my Kindle to get sleepy. He didn't say I couldn't.

So, I was doing this, but around 11:30pm, he came in my room to yell at me and told me I had to "turn off all lights, no electronics, relax, and go to sleep" because he had a study to do. I told him
it wasn't even near my usual bedtime, and tried to explain again what I needed to do, but he wouldn't listen.

He told me if I didn't do what he said, he would report me as "uncooperative." WTF? I even asked him, "You work nights, right? Could you do what you are telling me to do?" He said, "No," but still insisted that I had to obey his commands. Or else.

So, I did what he insisted and laid there unable to sleep (and now I was freaked out and angry) all night. He reported me as "uncooperative" anyway, said that I used "bright electronics all night," and "refused to go to sleep." More WTF??!!

I'm in the process of reporting him and trying to get that language struck from my medical record because it's untrue. I get really tired of being discriminated against and shamed (people think we're "lazy" ) because I'm different. This was a horrible experience.


(70,762 posts)
24. i read a report a while back that during rem sleep, spinal fluid circulates quickly.
Tue Apr 16, 2024, 12:33 PM
Apr 16

this wasnt know til recently. it makes sense.


(4,031 posts)
25. I completely agree.
Tue Apr 16, 2024, 04:23 PM
Apr 16

For example, Last night, I went to bed very early on purpose, hoping to improve my energy and focus. I ended up getting 12 hours of sleep. Today I'm feeling quite refreshed.


(12,530 posts)
30. Oh, I don't believe that.
Tue Apr 16, 2024, 05:58 PM
Apr 16

Everyone knows that the Sandman tiptoes in to the house, regardless of how many doors are locked, and blows sand in your eyes. That is what puts you to sleep. Then all kinds of variables take place. On certain nights, the bogeyman sneaks out of the closet and you run around for hours from this maniac wielding a chainsaw. Other nights, just as you are comfortably sinking into dreamland, the tooth fairy comes around and starts yanking on your pillow. And once a year those reindeer park on your roof to drop off the fat guy who you never catch, no matter how late you stay awake.
It’s a jungle out there.

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