The Glymphatic System AKA Virchow-Robin Spaces is a network of (CSF) Cerebrospinal fluid filled spaces that clear away the accumulation of toxic waste proteins and bathe and protect the brain and spinal cord.
When does this system work?
This cleaning system is switched off when we are awake. It switches on during sleep and is most active during slow wave sleep. In order for this system to work efficiently we need to be well mentally and physically.
What happens when its not working very well?
When the system is not working very well Amyloid plaque is not removed from the brain. When this plaque accumulates and is not cleared away it is the leading cause of:
- Cognitive Impairment
- ALS – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis a Motor Neuron Disease
Can we help improve this system?
Yes, there are many things you can do to help and improve your Glymphatic System, reduce Amyloid plaque and improve cognitive function.
- Diet – Low Fat, Low Sugar, Low Processed. Aim for 80/10/10 80% Carbs, 10% Fat, 10% Protein.
- Exercise Outdoors – Lowers cortisol levels, fresh air, trees, earthing.
- Reduce Stress – Stress causes neural changes it activates HPA axis (Hypothalamic, Pituitary & Adrenal) which then releases Cortisol. Raised cortisol stops Glymphatic System.
- Fasting – Fasting one day per week gives the body extra energy to clean. You can also choose to only eat in the window of 8 hours in every 24 hour cycle.
- Lower EMF at bedtime by switching off all wifi routers in your home.
- Meditation – this reduces stress and lowers cortisol levels.
So we can see the importance of sleep and rest and why even taking an afternoon nap if you can will greatly improve your mental and physical health.