Suggestion that Two Parts of Sleep correlate to Glymphatic Cleaning and Flush of Toxins

Suggestion that Two Parts Sleep NREM/REM correlate to Glymphatic Cleaning and Flush of Toxins of Brain and Blood Brain Areas

Figure out why we sleep and that will answer many questions. But why we sleep is very tough to answer.
Taking the glymphatic cleaning idea (see link below) further.

1. Why in sleep?
Quote (Q): One of the clues hinting that the glymphatic system may be more active during sleep was the fact that the amount of energy consumed by the brain does not decrease dramatically while we sleep. Because pumping CSF demands a great deal of energy, researchers speculated that the process of cleaning may not be compatible with the functions the brain must perform when we are awake and actively processing information. AND
Q. Through a series of experiments in mice, the researchers observed that the glymphatic system was almost 10-fold more active during sleep and that the sleeping brain removed significantly more amyloid-beta.

2. Could this go beyond the area of the blood brain/spine barrier to other blood barriers (testis, eyes, ears, joints). Therefore sleep centers on blood barrier areas, while the lymphatic system does the rest. Then the question is – is that enough reason for 8 hours sleep!

Q. The system responsible for disposing cellular waste in the rest of the body, the lymphatic system, does not extend to the brain. This is because the brain maintains its own closed “ecosystem” and is protected by a complex system molecular gateways – called the blood-brain barrier – that tightly control what enters and exits the brain.

3. This seems like a two part process. 1. After the brain cells shrink 60 % cerebral spinal fluid is pumped through the brain’s tissue, then 2. the waste is flushed back into the circulatory system where it enters the blood circulation system and goes to the liver.

Q. Another startling finding was that the cells in the brain “shrink” by 60 percent during sleep. This contraction creates more space between the cells and allows CSF to wash more freely through the brain tissue. In contrast, when awake the brain’s cells are closer together, restricting the flow of CSF. AND
Q. Using these techniques, researchers were able to observe in mice – whose brains are remarkably similar to humans – what amounts to a plumbing system that piggybacks on the brain’s blood vessels and pumps cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) through the brain’s tissue, flushing waste back into the circulatory system where it eventually makes its way to the general blood circulation system and, ultimately, the liver.

4. Could this two part process 1. cleaning the brain (and all blood barrier areas). 2. flushing the toxins;  relate to the two stages of sleep: NREM (80% sleep) and REM (20% sleep) such that
NREM – 80% – cleaning the brain (and other blood barrier areas)
REM – 20% – flushing waste back into the circulatory system and to the liver.

Finding the answer to why we sleep will open all kinds of doors to our health and well being, and our understanding of many aspects of our life

Final Quote:. The pathway consists of a para-arterial influx route for cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to enter the brain parenchyma, coupled to a clearance mechanism for the removal of interstitial fluid (ISF) and extracellular solutes from the interstitial compartments of the brain and spinal cord. Exchange of solutes between the CSF and the ISF is driven by arterial pulsation and regulated during sleep by the expansion and contraction of brain extracellular space.


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4 Responses to “Suggestion that Two Parts of Sleep correlate to Glymphatic Cleaning and Flush of Toxins”

  1. John Tilton Says:

    Tom, wonder if this cleansing process helps to explain the situation where something seems clearer after sleeping or a problem contemplated before sleeping seems more solvable afterwards?

  2. musea Says:

    The division of sleep may also correlate to the parts of the body going through the glymphatic cleanse. NREM the larger part of sleep covers the spine/head areas, with REM the germ cells and the joints.

  3. musea Says:

    See update at

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