Have you ever heard of “brain dumping”? I didn’t know much about it until I watched this TED Talk.

I love TED talks*. I mean, I love, love, love them. Sometimes, in the evening after our children have gone to sleep I visit their site and select the “Surprise me” option. They select funny, inspiring, jaw-dropping talks that not only entertain but also help you learn a thing or two.

Well, when educating myself for work I also use TED and I happened to stumble across this interesting talk by Jeff Iliff, a neuroscientist who explores the unique functions of the brain.




In this talk, he discusses the body has the lymphatic system to clear our body of waste but with the brain and its lack of lymphatic cells, how does it clear itself of waste?

Well, as Jim Iliff puts it, “The brain has this large pool of clean, clear fluid called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).  The CSF fills the space that surrounds the brain, and wastes from inside the brain make their way out to the CSF, which gets dumped, along with the waste, into the blood.”  Surprisingly, he and his researchers found that the fluid on the outside of the brain didn’t stay on the outside. Instead, the CSF was pumped back into and through the brain along the outsides of the blood vessels, and as it flushed down into the brain along the outsides of these vessels, it was actually helping to clear away the waste from the spaces between the brain’s cells. The coolest part: This process ONLY happens in the sleeping brain.

CRAZY COOL! No wonder we feel so scattered brained after even one night of restlessness or a late night out.


Sleep well, so your brain can dump its garbage!