A new study shows how we are brainwashed while we are sleeping. Researchers at Boston University found that when we are sleeping something amazing happens within the brain. The neurons go quiet and a few seconds later, blood flows out of the head, a new report said. A watery fluid is known as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) will flow in and wash the brain in rhythmic and pulsing waves.
The study published in Science on October 31 is the first to show that the CSF pulses of the brain during sleep and the motions that are closely linked with brain wave activity and blood flow. "We've known for a while that there are these electrical waves of activity in the neurons," said study author Laura Lewis, a BU College of Engineering assistant professor of biomedical engineering. "But before now, we didn't realize that there are actually waves in the CSF, too."
This is also the first-ever study where researchers managed to take images of CSF during sleep. And according to the faculty member of the Center for Systems Neuroscience, Lewis, this might in future help in giving insights about different types of neurological and psychological disorders frequently associated with disturbed sleep patterns which include autism and Alzheimer's disease.
Earlier studies showed that CSF flow as well as slow-wave activity help in flushing from the brain the toxic, memory-impairing proteins. With age, brains of people often generate fewer and slower waves.
"We have so many people who are really excited to participate because they want to get paid to sleep," said Lewis. "But it turns out that their job is actually--secretly--almost the hardest part of our study. We have all this fancy equipment and complicated technologies, and often a big problem is that people can't fall asleep because they're in a really loud metal tube, and it's just a weird environment."