- The glymphatic system is the brain’s natural detoxifying system.
- Getting quality sleep enhances the efficiency of your glymphatic system.
- Brain detox can help keep your brain operating at its best.
Some people claim that supplements, cleansing herbs, and a significant diet change can eliminate grogginess, enhance your memory, and boost your cognitive function. However, most medical experts agree that a detox isn’t necessary because the body has natural ways to get rid of toxins and keep things running smoothly.
The glymphatic system
Your brain has a whole system assigned to detoxification, called the glymphatic system.
A 2015 research says part of the glymphatic system’s function is to remove waste products from your brain and nervous system while you sleep when most of your bodily processes are less active. This allows glymphatic activity to work efficiently.
According to animal research, your brain also has a higher volume of open space between its cells during sleep, allowing more room for your cerebrospinal fluid to collect more toxins as it flows along the network. Your brain then gets rid of these wastes at different drainage sites, which your body excretes as waste.
One crucial waste removed from the brain during this process is the protein β-amyloid (beta-amyloid), which, according to experts, plays a part in developing Alzheimer’s disease.
The importance of good sleep
Getting enough sleep each night supports your brain’s natural detoxification process. Here are tips to getting a better, more refreshing rest every night:
1. Stick to a regular bedtime
Sleeping and waking at approximately the same time every day can improve your overall sleep quality. If you need to stay up a little later than usual or sleep in on weekends, avoid altering your sleep schedule by more than an hour. Also, make sure to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
2. Consider your diet
Spicy and acidic foods, caffeine, alcohol, and large meals may disrupt your sleep, especially if you eat them later in the day. If you feel hungry before bedtime, opt for a banana, yogurt, oatmeal, cheese, fruit, or crackers.
3. Create a comfortable sleeping environment
To get better sleep, keep your bedroom cool and dark, and use layers of lightweight, breathable bedding. Use your room only for sleeping and sex to condition your brain to get to sleep once you hit the sack.
4. Allot a de-stress time before bed
Stress and anxiety are common causes of sleep issues. To help put them aside before bedtime, try de-stressing activities like journaling, writing down to-do things, taking a warm bath, aromatherapy, meditation, deep breathing exercises, coloring, or reading.
A 2018 animal research suggests exercise can double the efficiency of the glymphatic activity.
Experts recommend getting a total of at least 2 1/2 hours of moderate aerobic exercise each week, or 1 hour and 15 minutes of intense or vigorous aerobic exercise weekly.
Other brain-boosting tips
Even slight dehydration can harm your cognitive functions and mood. Besides drinking, you can also get plenty of water from fruits and vegetables.
Add brain foods to your diet
The best foods for the brain contain proteins, healthy fats, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins that you can usually get from fresh produce, lean protein, and whole grains.
Spend time for relaxation
Give your brain a time to recharge by taking some time to simply sit and enjoy the moment.
Try brain exercises
Some brain exercises, like solving a jigsaw puzzle, learning a new language, listening to music, and meditating, can help keep your brain muscles finely tuned and operating at their best.