It's been concluded many times that a good night's sleep is fundamental to good mental health, as well as ensuring that you operate at your best on the day-to-day. On top of these already-known benefits, a new report has proven that a decent snooze can help clear damaging toxins from the brain, ultimately working towards reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease.
The study, which appears as a journal paper in AAAS' Science magazine, was reported on by the Tampa Bay Times. "We need sleep to clear out the brain", comments lead author of the paper, Dr Maiken Nedergaard. This refers to the research presented, which showed that when testing on mice, the rates of cerebral spinal fluid flowing through the brain doubled when sleeping – essentially resulting in a flushed-out brain.
This 'flushing out' removes toxins from the brain during sleep, and these collective toxins include beta-amyloid, protein fragments that are understood to trigger Alzheimer's. Whilst this research is obviously only in the very early stages, it's exciting to think that such terrible diseases like Alzheimer's are one step closer to being prevented, and maybe altogether eradicated someday.
Ultimately, the study is very much reiterating the point that a good night's sleep can do wonders for your health – and that's never a bad thing.