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MEDtube Sci. 2015 Mar;3(1):35-40.

The Neuroprotective Aspects of Sleep.

Author information

1
Division of Clinical Pharmacology/Anesthesia Research, Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Gonda 19, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.
2
Neurophysiology Unit, Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of Lublin, ul. Gluska 1, Lublin 20-439, Poland.

Abstract

Sleep is an important component of human life, yet many people do not understand the relationship between the brain and the process of sleeping. Sleep has been proven to improve memory recall, regulate metabolism, and reduce mental fatigue. A minimum of 7 hours of daily sleep seems to be necessary for proper cognitive and behavioral function. The emotional and mental handicaps associated with chronic sleep loss as well as the highly hazardous situations which can be contributed to the lack of sleep is a serious concern that people need to be aware of. When one sleeps, the brain reorganizes and recharges itself, and removes toxic waste byproducts which have accumulated throughout the day. This evidence demonstrates that sleeping can clear the brain and help maintain its normal functioning. Multiple studies have been done to determine the effects of total sleep deprivation; more recently some have been conducted to show the effects of sleep restriction, which is a much more common occurrence, have the same effects as total sleep deprivation. Each phase of the sleep cycle restores and rejuvenates the brain for optimal function. When sleep is deprived, the active process of the glymphatic system does not have time to perform that function, so toxins can build up, and the effects will become apparent in cognitive abilities, behavior, and judgment. As a background for this paper we have reviewed literature and research of sleep phases, effects of sleep deprivation, and the glymphatic system of the brain and its restorative effect during the sleep cycle.

KEYWORDS:

Brain; Glympathics; Sleep

PMID:
26594659
PMCID:
PMC4651462

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