I can’t believe I’ve only read about this today!
Studies published in 2013 revealed that our brain actually – and I mean literally – cleanses itself of toxins while we sleep. Well, with a bit of help from the cerebral spinal fluid, which flows through the brain far more actively when we’re asleep or under anaesthesia, and carries away toxins built up during waking hours.
When you think about it, it makes sense that the brain needs a process like this. After all, when you exercise hard, after a while your muscles become fatigued, right? One reason for that is that toxic byproducts of your muscle cells’ exertions are building up faster than the lymphatic system can drain them away.
Apparently a similar system – dubbed the glymphatic system – does a similar thing in mammalian brains, increasing the flow of cerebrospinal fluid up and through the brain along defined channels. Awesome!
It’s hypothesized that prolonged lack of sleep may lead to an accumulation of toxic byproducts in the brain, which might lead to earlier onset of Alzheimer’s and other neurological problems.
So: we all knew it, but now it’s clearer than ever! Sleep is important, and our body is working hard to clean our brain for us.
As Danish biologist Maiken Nedergaard said, “Sleep is such a dangerous thing to do, when you’re out in the wild, that it has to have a basic evolutionary function. Otherwise it would have been eliminated.”
I may put a bit more effort into my brain’s housework this evening, simply to celebrate this new knowledge – if you know what I mean!
I highly commend this read as an example of someone who has identified their own vision of mental health, and come up with workable strategies to achieve it. Kudos!
I don't want to exist. I want to live.
I realised that I haven’t mentioned my eating disorder in a while. The reason for that is that it isn’t as large a part of my life and thoughts as it used to be. I thought it might be useful to write about how I am doing and how I got to this point. I want to make it clear that I am not recovered nor am I aiming for recovery but I am doing much better. I believe there is a middle ground between choosing recovery and staying sick. I am living in that middle ground. It is a place where I work on having a better quality of life but I don’t constantly challenge the eating disorder because I am not completely ready to let it go and it takes a huge amount of energy to always challenge it.
I’ve struggling with an eating disorder since I was…
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This is actually one of the funniest posts I think OM has ever written:
- Do your parents speak English? No, they kind of wave their arms around and point at things while grunting.
- So do you like eat rice every day? So do you like eat fat every day?
- When did you come to this country? How do you know I wasn’t born here?
- Do you eat Asian food? While assuming we eat every type of Asian food you can think of IS annoying… also asking us obvious questions such as this one is pretty lame as well.
- Is that your dad? (points at random Asian man) No, is that your dad? (points at the first person he sees… man or woman.)
- Do you celebrate Chinese New Year’s? Do I look Chinese? Wait… don’t answer that. I SAID DON’T ANSWER THAT!
- Could you suggest a good Asian restaurant to go to? Sure, try The Drunken Chinese Chopstick Eating Dragon Wonton. I hear it is excellent!
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I’d like to invite any readers to help Juan Blea out with this worthy research:
Though I had originally intended to run the Substance Abuse & Addiction Perception Survey until August 30th, I also hoped to gather 100 responses. To date, I’ve only gathered 59. The fact is that with a minimum of 100 responses, the data can not only be easier to report and understand, but will also be more meaningful, as a larger number of responses may provide a clearer picture of what the responses indicate. I’m going to keep the survey open for one more week….please respond to the survey and SHARE….in doing so, you will be joining the fight against substance abuse & addiction…
NOTE: The items are NOT preselected, the selections are just a starting place…PLEASE REMEMBER TO CLICK “SUBMIT” SO THAT YOUR RESPONSES WILL BE RECORDED
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