A good night's sleep is like a deep clean for your brain

One reason sleep is so important: It's the time when your brain "cleans house", collecting and disposing of the waste products that build up in your head during the day.

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  1. I suspect my cleaning staff always misses a few spots.

  2. Let's not over-state the conclusions to the science here. Yes, the data show that during sleep, the space between neurons becomes more accessible. They also showed that, when injected into the brain, small peptides like amyloid beta (the major culprit in Alzheimer's Disease) and insulin are cleared faster during sleep than during waking.

    Those are pretty exciting results. However, most pop-media mistakenly and automatically make the unfounded (but admittedly reasonable) leap that this clearance is therefore proven to be one of the primary purposes of sleep. This was not directly demonstrated by any of the findings of the study. Indeed, that this mechanism, under normal circumstances, provides any kind of 'washing' of toxins is not at all clear. After all, "good" signals would probably get washed away ,too.

  3. I eat some celery before hittin' the hay, so that I get the complete internal Diamond Wash package.

  4. Broccoli man here. Some like it rough!

  5. Billy Wilder used to tell a story about a screen writer who had the same problem. Every other morning he remembers having had a brilliant idea, something totally new, but he never remembers the idea itself. So eventually he keeps a pen and a notepad next to his bed. That night he wakes up again with that absolutely new and fantastic idea and manages to scribble down a few words before falling asleep again. The next morning he wakes up, remembers he had an idea - remembers he wrote it down and suddenly is totally awake and excited. He grabs the notepad and reads: boy meets girl.

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