As parents, we do all we can to motivate our teens to eat healthy, get lots of exercise, and get a good night’s sleep. But I would like to give you some new information that makes the case for a good night’s sleep even more important.
It happens while you sleep!
It is while we are sleeping that our brain is the most efficient at cleansing itself of wastes and toxins that can damage the brain.
The brain is an incredibly active organ and so it produces ample wastes as it does its work. A build up of excessive wastes and toxins can do damage over a period of time. We already know this is true because it is believed that with Alzheimer’s disease, the build up of waste contributes to the cause of this disease.
In other parts of our body, tiny vessels called lymphatic vessels drain wastes into lymph nodes where the waste can be cleansed. Recently we learned that this also happens in the brain. There are tiny vessels that drain wastes and toxins into lymph nodes in the neck.
So what does this have to do with sleep?
We have also learned that these tiny vessels in the brain expand and do a better job of cleansing while we are sleeping.
Teenagers still need a consistent Good Night’s Sleep!
Can you imagine how important this is for our young teens experiencing a rapid developmental time in their body and in their brain? It is important that they get at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night. It is also important that this happens consistently. The idea that we can cut our sleep time short during the week and catch up on the weekend disrupts the normal sleep pattern in our brain.
And you do too!
It is not just our kid’s brains that we need to be concerned about. No matter how old you are, keeping your brain clean and healthy has a lasting impact. Maybe we should all try to get a little more sleep!
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