Suddenly "brainwashing" takes on new meaning, for it's not some cult-like effect that keeps you happy and healthy, but literally having your brain clean itself by... SLEEPING.
Would you ever intentionally let your full, kitchen garbage sit and ferment?
Waiting for the garbage man can sometimes be an urgent matter. Here in NYC, folks are incredibly aware, especially in summertime, when the trash has not been carted away. It begins to stink. Lining up the city streets in plastic, coded for recycling and/or plain old “gar-bage,” we want it outta here!! So, why would you let your brain’s trash sit and linger?
A recent study reported this month from the University of Rochester Medical Center and New York University and reported in the Journal Science demonstrated that a good night’s sleep literally takes out the brain’s trash. Now, this didn’t really surprise us as sleep science continues to bring evidence of the singular importance of a good night’s sleep. For instance, it is well documented that sleepless nights can mean memory loss and certain disintegration of other critical bodily functions (weight gain, high blood pressure, mood disruptions to name but a few). But leaving your “control tower,” unattended to by ignoring the importance of a good night’s sleep or even staying awake unintentionally counting sheep, partying or pulling an all-nighter essentially leaves the brain unequipped to function properly, leaving behind a host of toxic, metabolic byproducts.
Sleep is the brain’s act of “recovery,” which also explains why one tests better after a good night’s sleep and why we continually tell our children to get a good night’s zzzzs. Study some and sleep more and it might have a more compelling and positive impact on boosting your GPA.
So if you’re having trouble sleeping or, considering cutting back on your sleep in order to:
a ) finally train for an Ironman
b) get a jump on your social media
c) catch up on your reading
d) make phone calls to China for an early morning trade
Sleep. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it.
In this case, it might as well be the Sandman.