During sleep, connections between synapses shrink by about 20%, reports Live Science. Researchers think that helps keep the brain healthy.
“Sleep is the perfect time to allow the synaptic renormalization to occur … because when we are awake, we are ‘slaves’ of the here and now, always attending some stimuli and learning something,” said study co-author Dr. Chiara Cirelli of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Sleep and Consciousness.
“During sleep, we are much less preoccupied by the external world … and the brain can sample [or assess] all our synapses, and renormalize them in a smart way,” Cirelli told Live Science.
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