Researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center have reported the discovery of a mechanism that removes waste products from the brain when we are asleep. Lead study author Dr. Maiken Nedergaard said “This study shows that the brain has different functional states when asleep and when awake. In fact, the restorative nature of sleep appears to be the result of the active clearance of the by-products of neural activity activity that accumulate during wakefulness.” The researchers discovered the “glymphatic system” that acts like the body’s lymphatic system but is managed by glial cells in the brain. This system clears away toxins and waste products that may be implicated in neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
Answering the question of why we sleep has puzzled scientists for years. Most recent research has focused on the brain consolidating memory during sleep. This new research could transform our understanding of what sleep is for and how it works.
Many people don’t get a full night of restorative sleep because they suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. The signs of sleep apnea include: loud snoring, gasping during sleep, large neck size, extreme daytime sleepiness and overweight. If you experience these symptoms it might be time to have a sleep study. Oral appliances can effectively and comfortably manage sleep apnea.
Please contact Columbus, OH sleep apnea dentist Dr. Mark Levy today at 614-476-6696 to schedule your consultation.