Why we need our 40 winks

July 10, 2014

Prolonged loss of sleep either from anxiety or shift work is one of the prime causes of depression. Insomnia is also a major symptom of the disorder.

It is thought that all animals sleep, although some marine mammals such as the Porpoise, Bottlenose Dolphin, Beluga Whale and Pilot Whale and a variety of birds can put one side of their brain to sleep whilst the other remains active.

During sleep most animals are in an increased anabolic state with increased growth and rejuvenation of the immune, skeletal, muscle and nervous systems.

It is also thought that sleep is also a very important step in the process of allowing new memories from the day to be laid down into storage.

Another reason has been found and reported in Science in October 2013.

Researchers showed that’s during the day waste products build up in the spaces between brain cells. These include proteins such as amyloid and tau proteins which are associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease

Their study showed that in mice the flow of Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) through the brain is increased by 60% during sleep thus bringing about an greater reduction in these dangerous wastes.