Support Cells Promote The Brain To Sleep

The question, “Why does the body need sleep?” is still scientifically not answered.  Its an obvious answer to say that the body needs sleep, but why?  Why can’t the body just continue to function without rest? A study involving mice discovered that the brain requires rest, but a different type of unknown function triggers the need for sleep.

It was previously believed that neurons triggered the brain to sleep.  Now, Dr. Halassa (Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston) says that the results of the new study show that “adenosine from astrocytes clearly regulates sleep pressure.” This means that this type of support cell can possibly be adjusted to give the brain more or less sleep pressure to someone when needed.  More sleep pressure would induce better sleeping for patients with sleeping disorders, while less sleep pressure would allow a patient more time to be awake and alert.

If you put this discovery into perspective, adding or subtracting this type of support cell can adjust the way people sleep.  For example, military personnel involved stationed on the frontline can rarely get the proper amount of sleep.  If they get tired, or even worse fall asleep, negative results can occur and affect their judgments in a hot situation.  Reducing the sleep pressure by minimizing the adenosine from astrocytes can allow longer hours of being awake without the common tiredness setting in.  This discovery is still in it’s first stages so further analysis and research will be needed to clear the pros and cons that may result from it.

This type of study found the natural way that the brain is triggered to sleep.  Today’s sleep aids (pills and drinks) usually force the brain into an un-natural sleep session that tricks the body into sleep.  This type of sleep will nine times out of ten leave a person exhausted the next day making daily functions more difficult.  The brain is the most complex unit in the world, which is why naturally giving it rest will prolong its health.

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