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How to Detox your Brain Every Night

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How to Detox your Brain Every Night

Your brain, like your car, needs a good wash, a detox, to remove old or diseased gunk like molecules, cell, and waste that’s accumulated in your brain tissue and networks.

You’re probably aware of the detox your body movement that’s been raging for the last few years. The proponents of it, I’m not one of them, believe that by eating starkly little for a brief period of days or weeks, and then only particular foods, supplements, and drinks, you will be able to reset it your body and start afresh.

Also like your car, your brain cells produce pollution as they convert food into energy to move, create, speak, see, hear, taste, touch, smell, think and so forth. The car wash for much of your body’s waste is the lymphatic system, but it doesn’t run through the brain.  This would leave the brain vulnerable to disease were it not for the brain’s own car washing system, the glymphatic system, which was recently discovered.

How the complex glymphatic system operates is still being researched and understood, but they believe it declines with aging.  Researchers hypothesize that this system may be one key to preventing degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

   How you can support your glymphatic system to get the most efficient and effective results

You’ve likely heard what I’m about to list before.  Take note of that fact and seriously consider giving them a priority in your life because they keep coming up as pillars of a healthy body and mind:

  1. Get the amount of sleep YOU NEED. More on how this works with your toxin cleaning glymphatic system below
  2. Eat a diet that is rich in healthy fats, vegetables, and foods high in antioxidants, which include certain berries, nuts, beans and vegetables. For a list of the foods and which antioxidant(s) they are high in, check out this informative chart.
  3. Maintain a healthy blood pressure level  – Video
  4. Regular exercise, moving around more often in more ways.  I love this saying- when you rest (too much), you rust!

   Why Sleep is so important for the detoxing your brain

Unlike car washes that are open during the day and closed at night, your glymphatic system washes away waste and toxins at night while you are sleeping.

Brain cells “mop up diseased and damaged bits of protein and metabolic waste.” Glial cells support and surround brain cells (neurons). They are thought of as-as nursing cells like a nurse is to a doctor. They control the glymphatic flow when you sleep by increasing the space between the neurons by shrinking themselves.  With more space, the system’s fluid can push out more toxins and unwanted molecules through the network in the brain tissues and replace it with clean cerebrospinal fluid.  Then the lymphatic vessels that surround the brain receive the waste and take it from there. *

Are you a back or side sleeper? Animal studies show that the fetal position is the best choice for the cleaning process, and the left even better.  But most important is that you get enough quality sleep at night, continuous sleep, unlike naps.

   Sleep helps memory retention

 Sleep is also a powerful aid for memory retention.  It’s during continuous sleep that your brain sorts, selects and stores what was most important that day and lets the other go so to make room for new input the next day.  Sleep clears your mind, have you noticed?

College students who napped before a test did significantly better on the test compared to students who studied right up to the end.  I can attest to this myself as I took this finding to heart when taking statistics classes.

   Changing your sleep pattern

If sleeping enough and well is not happening for you, don’t turn to sleeping pills. Check out natural aids at your health food stores, herbs, teas, drops. Also, develop a sleep routine and time that doesn’t vary much from night to night and get up at the same time.  This routine is called sleep hygiene, and it helps more than you might think.

Is it time to mindfully discover your best sleep routine?  It’s a process, Changing your sleep pattern doesn’t happen overnight (no pun intended but I’ll take ).  Start to change the time you go to bed in 15-minute increments, letting yourself adjust before moving to the next increment.  Use the same step process for when you wake up. Reading before bed is shown to be far better at helping you sleep than watching TV, your phone’s face or the computer.  Have a dark room with blue lights from tech stuff off. Place your phone far away from your head.

Let me know what you think in the comments.  Wishing you sweet dreams!


*  Cleanse your Brain by Selene Yeager in AARP Bulletin, December 2017, p. 23  This article sourced the information about  the glymphatic system and detoxing the brain. There is no online url to include here, unfortunately.

This article, How to Detox your Brain, was first posted on on the blog Integrated Wisdom








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