• Enjoy healthy sleep
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    • Quality sleep is of extreme importance to our health

      An example of this are the results of studies which have found that sleep deprivation impairs our immune system in the same way as diseases. Even if we do everything correctly, if we do not sleep enough, our health and well-being will suffer. There is evidence of the occurrence of premature death due to a chronic lack of sleep because of complete exhaustion of the body. Scientists have discovered that the brain has a unique system for detoxification, the so-called glymphatic system.

      This system is activated during sleep, allowing the brain to flush away  accumulated toxins and the harmful proteins that are associated with  neurodisorders of the brain such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
      According to the prominent scientist Dr. Miken Nedergaard:

      "This study shows that the brain functions differently when asleep and when awake. In fact, the restorative function of sleep is obviously a result of the active clearance of neurotoxins that accumulate in the waking state."

      What is glymphatic system?

      The lymphatic system of the body is responsible for the elimination of waste products from cells. It does not include the brain. The reason is that the brain is a closed system, protected by the blood-brain barrier which controls what can penetrate into the system and what cannot.

      Scientists have proven that the brain actually has its own unique system for detoxification, similar to the lymphatic one. Glymphatic system pumps cerebrospinal fluid through the brain tissues, thus flushing toxins out and making them flow back into the circulatory system of the body. From there they are transported to the liver, where they are entirely eliminated. During sleep the glymphatic ystem is 10 times more active than in the waking hours. Meanwhile the brain cells shrivel up by approximately 60%.This frees up more space between them and allows cerebrospinal fluid to wash away waste products. For example the protein beta amyloid, which forms the well-known plaque in the brain of people suffering from Alzheimer's disease, is eliminated to a much greater extent during sleep. The studies put interesting questions about how sleep can slow the progression of Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases, but they are also a serious warning to all who have insufficient sleep. The brain has a limited amount of energy and it obviously has to choose when to purify itself, during sleep or during waking hours. Researchers have found that the purification process is most effective when we sleep on our side instead on stomach or back, as the flowing of glymphatic liquids is most unhindered in this position. An interesting fact is that sleeping on one side is the most common  position, both in humans and in animals. It seems that living creatures have instinctively adapted themselfes to the most optimal way of sleeping. The discovery also answers the question why we need sleep, namely, to cleanse toxins in the brain. Many types of dementia are associated with lack of sleep or sleep disorders.

      How does sleep affect our physical and health condition

      Sleep is usually one of the first things people sacrifice when they are very busy, but this is certainly not a good idea. Memory gets worse, it can be observed even after just one night of sleep deprivation - i.e. sleep lasting only 4-6 hours, but the symptoms of dizziness and forgetfulness are  not the greatest problems. Insufficient sleep leads to negative effects on health as disrupting  the circadian system, the one that "moves" the rhythm of our biological activity at the cellular level. Violations of this biological clock affect our whole body. For example interrupted or disturbed sleep can lead to:

      • increased risk of heart disease;
      • brain injury as the production of new cells is hindered;
      • increased production of stress hormones;
      • increased risk of obesity, since metabolism is disrupted;
      • premature aging;
      • higher blood pressure;
      • accelerated growth of tumors, mainly due to impaired production of melatonin. Melatonin slows the spread of many types of cancer cells.

      Furthermore, sleep deprivation can worsen chronic diseases such as:

      • Parkinson's disease
      • Alzheimer's disease
      • Multiple sclerosis
      • Disorders of the gastrointestinal tract
      • Kidney diseases
      • Behavioral problems in children

      Why a sleeping pill is not a solution when you cannot fall asleep

      The damage from chronic sleep deprivation on health accumulates over time, so you should not deprive yourself of sleep on weekdays and think you can make up for it at weekend. You must be consistent. Generally adults need between six and eight hours of sleep each night. Of course there are many exceptions. For some people five hours are sufficient, while others cannot perform at their peak, if they do not sleep nine or ten hours.

      Above all you just have to listen to your body. If you feel tired in the morning after getting up, you probably need more sleep. Frequent yawning during the day is another certain sign that you need to sleep more. In case of insomnia do not make the mistake of taking sleeping pills.

      Scientists have proven repeatedly that sleeping pills do not treat causes of insomnia, as a whole they do not act, but only mislead the brain that they have any effect. An analysis has shown that sleeping pills accelerate the process of falling asleep with about 10 minutes and increase total sleep duration with only about 15-20 minutes. Except the fact that most sleeping pills lead to poor and interrupted sleep, it was found out that they cause amnesia and the experiment participants actually did not remember how bad they slept.

      In terms of the implications it may be more harmful than to suffer from insomnia, but at least you'll be aware of this fact. In this way you will be motivated to look for the cause of your insomnia and to find a solution. Besides tha fact that sleeping pills do not work as commercials promise, they have very serious side effects on your health, increasing  the risk of death almost four times and  the risk of cancer  by 35%.

      How to improve your sleep - you can read in our article Sleep Hygiene.

      Sound sleep is a part of a healthy lifestyle!

      Be healthy!

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