May 10

Sleep Your Way to a Better Brain

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Our brain is the most complex matter in the known universe. The most powerful computers don’t come close to competing with it.

Did you know that your brain is the busiest organ in your body, consuming as much as 25% of your total energy. Simply stunning for a 3 lb. organ!

But when that much energy is consumed, there is going to be waste. Each day, waste products build up throughout our body, including our brain.

By the end of the day, your brain is dirty. Just from being busy all day.

This is an important key to brain health: Our brains must have the opportunity to remove that waste. A dirty brain is set up for low performance and eventually disease.

And this is where the importance of sleep comes in …

Explore the Jesus Smart Podcast archive

Mess Up Sleep and You Can Mess Up Your Brain

We now know that these 3 things have a positive impact on cleaning our brains:

  1. Regular exercise
  2. Maintaining healthy blood pressure
  3. A diet rich in vegetables, healthy fats, and antioxidants.

But the most important thing may be sleep!

In the United States, 30% of adults and 66% of adolescents are regularly sleep deprived.

This negatively affects learning, memory and mood. It contributes to inflammation, high blood pressure, and is linked to diabetes and obesity.

Adults need 7-8 hours of sleep for optimal brain health and adolescents need 10 hours.

Sleep deprivation and can cause serious brain (and bodily) harm … click to see this quick video from TED-Ed about this problem.

Your Secret Weapon — The Glymphatic System!

Our glymphatic system is much more active when we sleep, flushing away toxic substances between cells in our bodies and brains. It’s sort of like the overnight cleaning crew that cleans the building.

This graphic shows the process (source):

Because this super important system is much more active when we sleep, we certainly don’t want to shortchange the process!

Go Deeper — Sleep Your Way to a Better Brain

The Science of Sleep: A Brief Guide on How to Sleep Better Every Night (James Clear)

How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep (NY Times)

SLIDESHOW 20 Tips for Better Sleep (WebMD)

37 Science-Backed Tips for Better Sleep Tonight (Huffington Post)

You should check out 10 Super Foods to Super Boost Your Brain.


Tags

brain, sleep, wellness


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