Detox Your Brain: Today, we explore how to set your brain up to detoxify while you sleep. Brain detoxification is a natural mechanism but requires the right conditions to do it properly. These tips cover physical, emotional, and chemical stressors that may otherwise interfere with the detox process, causing the unnecessary accumulation of toxins in the brain.
This article has been medically reviewed by Dr. Charles Penick, MD
Does the Brain Need to Detox?
Yes! The brain is one of the body areas that accumulate the most toxins, so detoxification is vital for your cognitive and whole-body health 1. Our modern world is full of toxins, which lead to a buildup of cellular waste, pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals; these neurotoxins can cause severe damage to the brain and central nervous system (CNS) 2.
Luckily, the brain’s glymphatic system orchestrates a natural detoxification process every night 3. Your glymphatic system operates like a plumbing system, and under the right circumstances, it will flush the brain with cerebral-spinal fluid, which helps clear toxins build up between brain cells. This build-up is known as beta-amyloid plaque and is associated with various neurodegenerative disease models, including Alzheimer’s 4.
The key to activating your body’s natural glymphatic process is high-quality sleep 5. All sleep is not created equal, so follow the tips below to ensure you get the best quality sleep!
Top Tips for Promoting Brain Detoxification While You Sleep
1. Sleep Quantity
Although the key to detoxing your brain while you sleep is sleep quality, there is no ignoring that quantity matters too. Giving your body at least seven whole hours asleep ensures it can go to work, flushing your brain with that precious cerebral spinal fluid to help clear out toxins and debris 6.
2. A Dark and Quiet Bedroom
Keeping your bedroom dark and quiet helps ensure you get a much deeper sleep. Studies suggest that the benefits of sleeping in a dark room go further than waking up feeling rested and included lower incidences of depression 7.
A quiet room helps ensure nothing will disrupt your sleep, which risks lifting you out of deeper sleep states. Remember, you don’t just want to fall and stay asleep; you want to reap the benefits of Deep and REM states of sleep which only occur when your sleep is induced in the right conditions and environment.
As a general rule, keep electronics out of the bedroom. Noise also applies to electromagnetic frequencies, which your body cannot visibly see but feels and responds to. Keeping the bedroom, a peaceful, technology-free environment will promote deeper sleep.
Consider red light, a salt lamp, or old-fashioned candles if you need to use light after dark.
3. Cool Room Temperature
Sleeping in a cool room helps promote deeper sleep. Many experts believe that sleep temperature is the most crucial factor in getting a good night’s sleep. Studies suggest 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal for quality sleep 8.
The human body is naturally programmed to experience a slight dip in core temperature in the evening, promoting the sleep cycle. Turning the thermostat down at night could help with temperature regulation and signal your body that it’s time for bed, enabling you to fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
4. A Consistent Sleep Schedule
Your circadian rhythm operates like an orchestra conductor, telling your hormones when to release daytime or nighttime hormones. This rhythm is cyclical, and your routine will dictate when your body starts feeling tired and when you wake up. Therefore, routine is key, and keeping a regular sleeping and waking schedule is vital to setting a solid and stable circadian rhythm 9.
Ideally, you want to go to bed at the same time seven nights a week and wake up at the same time too. If you need help falling asleep, try using melatonin for a while to reset your sleep cycle.
5. In The Few Hours Before Bed…
Too much stimulation before bed can prevent you from getting deep, restorative sleep. Therefore, it is best to avoid food, vigorous exercise, and artificial blue light within 2-3 hours before going to bed 6, 10.
Although avoiding food and intense exercise is relatively straightforward, avoiding artificial light can be more challenging. Our modern world is full of screens and lights, and most people don’t go to bed until many hours after sundown, especially in the shorter winter months. Opting for incandescent, red bulbs, or candles is one way to keep getting light after dark without the impact of blue light. You can also opt for blue light-blocking glasses, which are not perfect but help 11!
6. Supplement Support
Some fantastic supplements can support your brain’s detoxification process.
Intracellular Detoxification System (IDS) is a powerful two-supplement combination to help optimize your brain’s detoxification ability. GCEL and BIND work as a team to decrease toxic load and improve the overall health of our cells by providing super-activated charcoal and acetyl-glutathione.
BIND has the power to absorb 300 times its weight in toxins, including heavy metals, chemicals, and biotoxins. It also contains ingredients to support bowel regulation during toxin elimination.
GCEL provides acetyl-glutathione, a master antioxidant that prevents auto-intoxication (toxins re-entering the cells) and keeps our cells alive. Conversely, when your cells are depleted of glutathione, it causes cell death. As a result, this formula supports the liver, muscle performance, glucose metabolism, and hormone balance.
Benefits of GEL:
- Bioavailable acetyl-glutathione
- Master antioxidant to fight free radical damage
- Contains B vitamins for multiple detox benefits
- Prevents auto-intoxication
- Keeps cells healthy and thriving
Benefits of BIND:
- Contains super-activated charcoal
- Absorbs up to 300 times its weight in toxins
- Cascara Sagrada brings water into the intestines
- Apple and Flax provide beneficial fiber
- Probiotics added to support leaky gut
GSHX contributes a cutting-edge nutrient, acetyl-glutathione, that elevates the crucial intracellular GSH. This unique GSH molecule successfully crosses the intestinal barrier, is readily absorbed into the bloodstream, and quickly supports the extracellular matrix to help the body down-regulate oxidation and inflammation. Further, and most importantly, it directly increases GSH inside the cells. The “acetyl” portion is the carrier of the glutathione that inhibits dissipation in the G.I. tract and bloodstream, is common to most glutathione supplements, and promotes cellular absorption. This is ‘True Cellular Detox!”
Brain detoxification occurs naturally during sleep, thanks to the glymphatic system. However, for the glymphatic system to operate correctly, sleeping conditions must support deep restorative sleep. To detox your brain while you sleep, focus on enough quality (at least 7 hours) of sleep in a cool, dark, and quiet bedroom, stick to a consistent sleeping schedule, and avoid blue light, exercise, or food in the few hours before bed. Supplementing with the two potent Intracellular Detoxification System products, GEL, and BIND can help amplify your results.
Medical Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. This article has been medically reviewed by Dr. Charles Penick, MD, for the accuracy of the information provided, but we encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
- “23 Everyday Toxins That Destroy Thinking.” Amen Clinics 23 Everyday Toxins That Destroy Thinking Comments. Web. 21 Feb. 2022.
- Popoff, Michel R., and Bernard Poulain. “Bacterial Toxins and the Nervous System: Neurotoxins and Multipotential Toxins Interacting with Neuronal Cells.” Toxins 2.4 (2010): 683-737. Print.
- “Brain May Flush out Toxins during Sleep.” National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 17 Sept. 2015. Web. 21 Feb. 2022.
- “Inside the Brain: Alzheimer’s.” Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia. Web. 21 Feb. 2022.
- Reddy, O. C., & van der Werf, Y. D. (2020). The sleeping brain: Harnessing the power of the Glymphatic system through lifestyle choices. Brain Sciences, 10(11), 868. https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci10110868
- Walker, M. (2017). Why we sleep. Scribner.
- Obayashi, K., Saeki, K., & Kurumatani, N. (2017). Bedroom light exposure at night and the incidence of depressive symptoms: A longitudinal study of the Heijo-Kyo Cohort. American Journal of Epidemiology, 187(3), 427–434. https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwx290
- The best temperature for sleep: Advice & tips. Sleep Foundation. (2021, June 24). Retrieved February 23, 2022, from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/bedroom-environment/best-temperature-for-sleep
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Circadian rhythms. National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Retrieved February 23, 2022, from https://www.nigms.nih.gov/education/fact-sheets/Pages/circadian-rhythms.aspx
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- Alkozei, Anna et al. “Acute exposure to blue wavelength light during memory consolidation improves verbal memory performance.” PloS one vol. 12,9 e0184884. 18 Sep. 2017, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0184884