One more reason to get a good nights sleep
Scientists are fascinated by sleep and why we need to sleep, they are constantly researching this subject and publishing new information and data on this topic.
Here at Baby Sleep Consultant we view sleep as a biological necessity not a luxury, and this is a tag line you hear us throw around. This Ted talk explains in simple terms exactly why sleep is such a necessity and not a luxury.
Jeff Lliff explains:
Our brains use 1/4 of our entire energy supply and this is done with a complex circulatory system which gets blood to all the little nooks and corners of our brain. This blood is carrying oxygen and nutrients which our brains need to function.
What every cell does with nutrients and oxygen is turns this into fuel for function, but just like the fuel in your car, cells produce waste. Just like your car this waste product needs to leave the cell or it becomes dangerous.
The way the brain does this is different to every other cell in the body, as it doesn’t connect to the lymphatic system (collects wastes and dumps them into the blood for disposal). The brain uses the cerebral spinal fluid instead (CSF), this gets dumped into the blood like the lymphatic system and cleared from the body.
The most interesting part is that the cerebral spinal fluid is pumped throughout the brain cells right down into the middle of the brain (previously scientists thought CFS stayed on the outside of the brain), the CFS is collecting the waste products as it moves in and around the brain.
All of this clearance of waste products is ONLY happening in the sleeping brain, as the brain sleeps the cells shrink slightly which allows the CFS to move past the cells and collect all that waste product, and dump it into the blood system to be cleared by the body.
Only when you SLEEP.
Why do we care about clearing waste products from our brain?
You know you feel more clear headed in the morning after a good nights sleep…this is not a perception this is a fact. Your ability to think, make decisions and learn is improved when this waste is cleared.
Some of the waste products which tricky names like Amyloid Beta (pictured below)
Amyloid Beta is one of the nasty waste products our brain produces when it is awake, this protein builds up in patience with Alzheimer’s disease, and is flushed away when we sleep.
Lack of sleep quality and duration are associated with a greater amount of amyloid beta build up in the brain. This failure of the brain to clear away amyloid beta is thought to contribute to the development of diseases like Alzheimer’s.
So apart from a bunch of confusing words and talk about the brain and sleep, what is the Ted Talk teaching us here at Baby Sleep Consultant?
We are all mother’s, we get sleep deprivation we also feel the same pressure some of you might feel from certain parts of society to just put up with months or even years of sleep deprivation. You don’t have to become some kind of sleep martyr, a mother who survives on coffee and broken sleep.
Not only is this not great for your mood (lets talk about the link between lack of sleep and PND another day) or your relationships, but we now know its biologically toxic for our brains, and our children’s brains if they are having broken or poor quality sleep too.
This for us confirms the message we try to convey to our clients, you are not selfish for wanting more sleep. You are not a bad mother for wanting to change your child’s sleep habits to ensure you and your child are getting more sleep.
Sleep is a biological necessity just like food, it is not a luxury.
For you and your children and your husband/partner.
Lets all get an early night tonight and think about how much our brains will thank us for it in the morning!
Give us your feedback and comments below, do you feel brain fog when you have poor sleep?
Anything you want us to blog or write about?