The greatest fear of most of us as we age is keeping our minds! There are several modalities to offset Dementia and Alzheimer’s and we have dealt with these subjects often here. One major modality is to get one’s sleep patterns right. This means not only the ideal amount of sleep for any individual but also the quality of that sleep and it all comes down to the proper function of Brain Astrocytes!
On my father’s side of the family, there exists an apparently inherited capacity of ‘ a short total sleep’ being sufficient. Drove my mother crazy, as my father could stay out to the small hours of the morning. Living in the tropics with its colonial past, his behavior was catered to with perpetually open clubs.
Dad adopted an almost perfect regimen of only needing some 4 hours of sleep naturally. This just happens to be the base of the ‘U curve’ that I’ve discussed in other articles. As a small boy, I remember when he would come home for an extended lunch that is so typical in the tropics. This was in colonial Malaysia. He would take a nap but no more than about 20 minutes. This happens to be ideal as one does not utilize a full REM or NREM sleep.
My personal experience is similar. I notice that my eldest daughter has the same trait of about 4 hours! But after that four hours of a deep sleep, I utilize the early morning hours as workout time concluding with a Cold Shock shower to express Cold Shock proteins.
With our new pandemic reality that effectively outlaws group saunas, and the corresponding our favorite Heat Shock protein formulas. Conversely I use a fifteen-minute cold water shower, and that water comes from a mountain reservoir! A Northern climate is then ideal to rewarm but in a further sleep mode. The process of rewarming passively takes about three hours.
After the initial shiver stage, there is a natural sleep pattern. Utilizes all phases and usually an increase of about 2 to 3 hours normal sleep cycle for a grand total of about 6 hours. One is ready to go at 9.00 AM with all that out of the way!
I feel more comfortable as the total sleep period is still in one section of the day. Also just cannot increase the initial 3 to 4 hours basic otherwise! This is an easy extension of some 2 hours. At least the U curve is somewhat upwards!
My sleep pattern is natural, maintains Circadian Rhythms. Try to avoid sleep aid drugs. They interfere with sleep quality.
- So long as the period is naturally right, then brain Astrocytes function normally. Astrocytes allow brain cleansing and regeneration.
- Without proper sleep cycles, Astrocytes perversely destroy healthy brain synapses which increases the risk of Alzheimer’s and other neurogenerative diseases.
- The body and Brain constantly undergo a cellular cleanse to some degree and in the brain there are two types of glial cells that are responsible for clearing out the old or damaged cells and synapses.
- Microglial cells initiate phagocytosis to remove debris, pathogens, and dead cells. Astrocytes are supporting cells that insulate surfaces and protect the brain during inflammation and injury.
These complementary roles repair and restore the brain while we sleep. But if sleep not optimal:
- Astrocyte activity increases and exhibit behavior similar to microglial cells eating waste and excessive cleansing.
- This negative physiological process called astrocytic phagocytosis.
- When this occurs, astrocytes eat away and destroy healthy synapses.
- Over time, deadly! A passport to chronic brain disease as Alzheimer’s and other neurodegeneration such as Parkinson’s disease.
Also general consequences. Driving reaction. Negative effects of heart disease, and diabetes. A general malaise even depression.
During the Covid Pandemic, far greater susceptibility to it and infections because of diminished immunity. An overall general vulnerability besides impaired cognitive ability and memory. Let alone decreased life expectancy! Which in end is what this site is about! Better Safe Sleep & Brain Astrocytes!