A new study in the peer-reviewed journal Science says cerebrospinal fluid during non–rapid eye movement sleep clears metabolic waste products from the brain

Deep sleep may be critical for your heart — but it may also help clear the brain of toxins that play a role in Alzheimher’s disease. Sleep is essential for both cognition and maintenance of healthy brain function, and slow waves in neural activity contribute to memory consolidation, a study published Thursday in the peer-reviewed journal Science concluded. Cerebrospinal fluid during non–rapid eye movement sleep also clears metabolic waste products from the brain.

An increasingly large body of evidence demonstrates that sleep disturbance increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, a 2018 review of research in the medical journal JAMA concluded. One such study concluded that individuals with sleep problems had a 1.68 times higher risk for developing cognitive impairment or Alzheimer’s disease and that 15% of Alzheimer’s disease cases may be directly attributable to sleep dysfunction.

 

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