Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sleep--It's Better For Us Than We Realized

Were you one of those little kids for whom nap time was dreaded---you didn't want to go to sleep because you might miss something? Well it turns out that sleeping might help us miss something more than we realized--the chance of developing dementia. Why, you might ask? Turns out the results of a recent study done by Dr. Maiken Nedergaard (lead author) and colleagues show that sleep helps a brain "take out the trash" according to an October 17, 2013 news story from  the U. of Rochester Medical Center. (I was instantly enamored by the title of the article:  To Sleep, Perchance to Clean). The article explains lots of technical reasons that this happens and notes that this trash-dumping includes "clearing away toxins responsible for Alzheimer's...."  The report was published in the October issue of Science Magazine. A subscription is required to read the article in its entirety, but an abstract may be found here.

I just think about how one feels refreshed after a good night's sleep....and perhaps we are one step closer in knowing why--the trash has been dumped.... Now if I could just dump some of those song lyrics from the 60s to make more room for important items, such as what was I doing before I sat down to write this blog, Oh I know zzzzzzzzzzzzz

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