We all know that sleep is essential. It keeps us healthy, happy, and sharp. We also know that a lot of stuff happens in our sleep that heals our body. Now, a new study shows what our brains do while we sleep.
New Study Shows What Our Brains Do While We Sleep
Researchers at Boston University found that the fluid in the brain and spinal cord (cerebrospinal fluid) washes in and out like waves. This means it helps the brain get rid of the garbage that we accumulated during the day.
The study had thirteen people between the ages of twenty-three and thirty-three. They all agreed to get brain scans while sleeping, which means they had to wear EEG caps while sleeping in MRI machines.
They aren’t exactly comfortable. Participants had a hard time falling asleep due to that and how noisy the machines are.
Once participants fell asleep, researchers were able to see that cerebrospinal fluid seemed to synchronize with brainwaves. They estimate that this helps get rid of brain waste. The waste can include potentially toxic proteins that could form buildups in the brain. This can cause the process of information flow between neurons to slow down.
Researchers also believe this explains that normal aging can be tied with poorer self-cleaning of the brain. As you get older, your brain tends to create fewer slow waves that can reduce blood flow in the brain.
The research team wants to do more research to answer some questions. They would like to recruit older participants to look at how natural aging affects cerebrospinal fluid’s work. They also want to figure out how brainwaves, blood flow in the brain, and cerebrospinal fluid synchronize to get rid of garbage.
Read more here.