Sleep Activates Immune Cells That Rejuvenate Your Brain

Sleep is important for many reasons, but new research in mice suggests that it’s most important function is to restore your brain to great condition for the next day. 
Previous studies showed that sleep updates and consolidates short and long-term memories and also disposes neural waste residue.

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.

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