How important is sleep in our daily health? I often wish that I needed less but it seems that scientists in the US claim to have a new explanation for why we sleep: in the hours spent sleeping, a waste disposal service swings into action that cleans up all the accumulated waste products in the brain.
Through a series of experiments on mice, the researchers showed that during sleep, cerebral spinal fluid is pumped around the brain, and flushes out waste products like a biological dishwasher. Researchers say that the process helps to remove the molecular detritus that brain cells churn out as part of their natural activity, along with toxic proteins that can lead to dementia when they build up in the brain. Some scientists are skeptical of the study until further testing is done on humans but there might be enough here to get me to start sleeping more. If sleeping 7-8 hours a night will help ward off dementia it seems like a great reason to increase my daily amount of sleep!