How sleep affects the brain | UCSB Health & Wellness


How sleep affects the brain | UCSB Health & Wellness

When we fall asleep, the blood vessels in our brain shrink, allowing cerebrospinal fluid to rush through, capture waste, and dump it back into the blood for the body to dispose of. When the brain is awake, it puts this cleaning mode on hold, just like you and I may put cleaning our house on hold until the weekend.

But just like in your house, if you stop cleaning your kitchen or bathroom for a month, your home will become completely uninhabitable very quickly. But in the brain, the consequences of not cleaning are far greater. The failure of the brain to clear its waste during sleep can contribute to diseases like Alzheimer’s. Sleeping is your body’s natural way of cleaning the house. Making sleep a priority helps you and your brain be at your healthiest.

Iliff, J. (2014, September) One More Reason to Get a Good Night’s Sleep [Video file]. TED.

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