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Adults that were subjected to sleep deprivation for 36 hours experienced a 50% increase in a protein called tau that is linked to neuronal cell death and Alzheimer’s disease.
It has previously been shown that a single night of poor-quality sleep raised levels of A-beta, another protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease, by 30%.
Sleep is one of the most important determinants of brain health. Sleep is when the brain repairs itself and clears away buildup of aggregated proteins, cellular debris, and other harmful agents. One way this occurs is through the activation of the glymphatic system which is a series of vessels that squirts cerebrospinal fluid throughout the brain and rinses away the toxic buildup of “stuff” that accumulates throughout the day. It is only active during sleep, particularly deep sleep.