Theories about the need for sleep have changed drastically in recent years. It all started with the 2015 discovery of lymphatic system in human brain by NIH neurologist Daniel Reich.
It suggested that there is the system of vessels to remove waste from our brains, which becomes most active during some phases of our sleep. Nevertheless this discovery went unnoticed outside of science circles. It shed some more light onto importance of sleep, encouraged further research and inspired a few science writers. Number of books published on that topic and studies started to grow. Finally in 2017 a remarkable book was published – “Why we sleep.” The new science of sleep and dreams” written by a leading expert in the field – prof. Matthew Walker from prestigious Berkeley University. This well researched, yet written in simple language book became hugely popular. It quickly became a New York Times bestseller, got great reviews in all media and was followed by articles in Financial Times, Huffington Post, Guardian and many more. In short – what does the book say, which is different from the story about sleep we knew before?
In short – it has been well researched that the effects of sleep are enormous. Lack of it will affect our mood, concentration, blood pressure and reaction times. Long term sleep problems may lead to heart diseases, Parkinson, dementia, inflammations, anxiety, depression… list goes on and on. Before the book was published many scientists thought that sleep may be some kind of an evolutionary side effect, something not really needed. Now, prof. Walker goes as far as to suggest that state of sleep is a natural state of life, as it was in its primitive form.
In 2010, the English NHS stated that there is no link between sleeping less and development of diseases – according to their experts it is rather that lack of sleep or too much sleep is caused by health problems. Now evidence seems to point otherwise. In next blog post we will go into more details. We encourage to read more on the topic and because sleep is so important – pay more attention to your sleeping conditions. Good mattress, quality pillow and enough time to get quality sleep will greatly influence your well-being.