Sleep: Nighttime Brain Restoration
When norepinephrine levels spike, the brain becomes alert. This chemical messenger, norepinephrine is present in microglia cells. This means that when microglial immune cells are active, typically during the day — the brain is unable to perform maintenance and restorative functions.
However, at night, and especially during sleep, these immune cells are able to consolidate short term and long term memories as well as perform necessary repairs.
These interactions explain why sleep disruptions have links to progressive degenerative conditions, such as dementia and Parkinson’s disease.