The Importance of Sleep: The Brain’s Janitor System

A recent article in The New York Times highlights the critical role sleep plays in cleaning out the “junk” that accumulates from daily thinking.  We know that sleep is critical in forming and consolidating memories, forming new neuronal connections, as well as the pruning of old ones. At the same time, the prevalence of sleep problems is widespread, as approximately 80 percent of working adults suffer from sleep deprivation. When sleep is disrupted, the brain’s janitorial system breaks down, and may contribute to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Read article: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/12/opinion/sunday/goodnight-sleep-clean.html?_r=0