December 21 2020
NEW RESEARCH SUPPORTS – SLEEP AND BRAIN ENERGY RESTORATION
According to new research in the June 30 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, during the initial stages of sleep, energy levels increase dramatically in brain regions found to be active during waking hours, These results suggest that a surge of cellular energy may replenish brain processes needed to function normally while awake.
A good night’s rest has clear restorative benefits, but evidence of the actual biological processes that occur during sleep has been elusive. Studies now show that brain energy levels are key to nightly restoration.
The findings support in biology the basic understanding of the function of sleep. It is somewhat surprising that until now there have been no modern-era studies of brain energy using todays most sensitive measurements.
The studies conclude that sleep is necessary for this energy surge, as keeping awake prevented the surge. The energy increase may then power restorative processes absent during wakefulness, because brain cells consume large amounts of energy just performing daily waking functions.
“This research provides intriguing evidence that a sleep-dependent energy surge is needed to facilitate the restorative biosynthetic processes,” said Robert Greene, MD, PhD, of the University of Texas Southwestern, a sleep expert who was unaffiliated with the study.
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