We acquire so much information throughout the average day that we need to start our days fresh. How? Get a good night’s sleep! According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), sleep clears our brains of the damaging molecules that accumulate throughout the day.
“Sleep changes the cellular structure of the brain. It appears to be a completely different state,” said Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., D.M.Sc., co-director of the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York, and a leader of the study.
The study reveals that during sleep a plumbing system called the glymphatic system may open, letting fluid flow rapidly through the brain. The glymphatic system helps control the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), a clear liquid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. The results of the study were published in Science.
Essentially brain cells become smaller when the body is sleeping. This allows more room for the brain to cleanse itself. In addition researchers found that the hormone noradrenaline is less active during sleep, allowing the brain to relax basically.
Sleep deprivation, including insomnia, has long been associated with problems related to reasoning and problem solving. While everyone does vary, the average adult needs seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Teenagers need an average of at least nine hours and younger children need 10 hours a night. In August, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) launched a new website, www.insomnia.sleepfoundation.org, to help individuals who suffer from insomnia.
“Ongoing research shows a lack of sleep can produce diabetic-like conditions in otherwise healthy people,” said sleep expert Dr Merrill Mitler in an April 2013 article in the National Institute of Health (NIH) newsletter.
Diabetics especially need to get a good night’s sleep. Not only to allow the brain to cleanse and recharge itself, but also to maintain control of the body’s insulin. A loss of sleep can interrupt insulin balance which in turn leads to insulin resistance.
This article is not intended to replace the medical advice of your physician. If you are experiencing problems sleeping or any of the symptoms of diabetes, make an appointment with your physician.
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