Wearable sleeping caps promise insomniacs

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Do you have sleep problems? I’ve been through bouts of insomnia all my life so I was intrigued when I came across an article saying the US military could come to the rescue.

The army has Iawarded a grant of $2.8 million for the first year of research into a wearable “nightcap” that will help people with insomnia. The cap would be used to help the brain The “glymphatic system” removes waste products in the central nervous system, activating cerebrospinal fluid which helps the brain clean up harmful waste products during sleep.

This probably explains why my brain always feels so (dare I say) toxic when I have trouble sleeping. It’s definitely not a place I want to spend a lot of time.

Wikipedia has the most incomprehensible comprehensible explanation of what the glymphatic system is, defining it as essentially the waste disposal system in the central nervous system.

According to this model, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flows into the paravascular space around the cerebral arteries, combines with interstitial fluid (ISF) and parenchymal solutes, and exits through the venous paravascular spaces

OK. It’s understood?

The system was named after the role of glial cells, which are non-neuronal cells in the brain and spinal cord that do not produce electrical impulses. They control nerve stimulation, brain plasticity and immune responses. They shrink during sleep, giving way to the elimination of metabolic waste.

So if you’re not sleeping, those glial cells are probably swelling. Could this lead to distraction? Confusion? Hustle?

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“We used to think that sleep was the time when the body is resting, but when you look at the brain during certain cycles of sleep, you see that it’s very, very active,” explains Dr. Gavin Britz, director of the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute and the Candy and Tom Knudson Centennial Chair of Neurosurgery. “We also see a very strong link between abnormal sleep and disease states, including heart disease, obesity and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. sleep.”

The goal of the project is to develop technology that can improve waste disposal even without improving the quantity or quality of a person’s sleep.

“Whether it’s psychological stress, trauma, sleep apnea, weight-related issues or heart disease, or the natural aging process that tends to make us lighter sleepers, the end result is the same: the metabolites build up and cause problems for the body and the brain,” says Dr. Britz. “We are developing this cap to try to circumvent the need for eight hours of high-quality sleep so that even people who sleep poorly can get rid of their waste effectively.”

Basically, the cap won’t help you sleep more but will help you not suffer the consequences if you don’t sleep.

I was wondering what the relationship was between lack of sleep and being overweight. I found my answer on The Sleep Foundation.

Sleep loss creates a hormonal imbalance in the body that promotes eat too much and weight gain. Leptin and ghrelin are hormones that regulate appetite, and when you don’t get enough sleep, the production of these hormones is altered in a way that creates an increased feeling of hunger. Sleep deprivation is associated with growth hormone deficiency and elevated cortisol levels, both of which have been linked to obesity. In addition, insufficient sleep can alter your food metabolism.

Unfortunately, the effects of sleep loss on weight aren’t limited to changes at the chemical level. Restricted sleep duration has been shown to lead to a greater tendency to select high calorie foods2. Calories consumed late at night increase the risk of weight gain. In addition, adults who do not get enough sleep exercise less3 than those who do, perhaps because the loss of sleep causes daytime sleepiness and fatigue.

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I would if it helped me sleep more

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