Better Sleep: My Ongoing Masterpost…
AMERICA USED TO BE CALLED, “THE GREAT UNSLEPT.” NOW, IT’S THE WORLD.
“Every night, we move farther and farther from the nine to ten hours of sleep a night the average adult got in 1920. Each weekday night we get an hour and thirty-six minutes less, on average, than the eight-and-a-half hours that sleep experts recommend. Each weekend night we receive one full hour less.
By the end of the year we are short 458 hours — almost three full weeks — of sleep.
During an 80-year lifespan, we fall short a whopping 36,640 hours or 218 full weeks worth of lost sleep. We are the “great unslept,” working our way through life on the verge of sleep bankruptcy.” (Sam Graci, The Food Connection)
Your Nightly Brain Dump
Your brain uses a whopping 25% of all the energy you burn on a daily basis. And that creates metabolic waste. But how does it get removed, and when? Can you brain get constipated if that waste does not leave the brain?
Every night your brain does a dump of waste. And this is important: The system that does it — the GLYMPHATIC SYSTEM — only operates at night during sleeeeeep… consider it a middle-of-the-night secret/stealth garbage service.
Essentially, if you don’t sleep well, your brain is filling up with garbage, making the main part of what you call you (your mind) function not so well. Your reality as a result: Headaches, fuzzyheaded, fogbrained, uncreative, slow thinking, not with it, poor short term memory and recall.
Here’s the research quote we will unpack (from The Glyphatic System: A Beginner’s Guide) :
The glymphatic system is a recently discovered macroscopic waste clearance system that utilizes a unique system of perivascular tunnels, formed by astroglial cells, to promote efficient elimination of soluble proteins and metabolites from the central nervous system.
Besides waste elimination, the glymphatic system also facilitates brain-wide distribution of several compounds, including glucose, lipids, amino acids, growth factors, and neuromodulators.
Intriguingly, the glymphatic system function mainly during sleep and is largely disengaged during wakefulness. The biological need for sleep across all species may therefore reflect that the brain must enter a state of activity that enables elimination of potentially neurotoxic waste products, including β-amyloid.