Is Sleeping On Your Side Is Good For Your Brain
Sleeping On Your Side Is Good For Your Brain, might be have an impact on more than your just your posture;it could also impact your mental health. New research suggests that it might be related to how the brain removes waste chemicals, and that some positions might be better for this than others.
The scientists used “dynamic contrast”magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which uses a special chemicalto improve visability of internal structures,to image whats called the brains glymphatic pathway.This is the system wherebycerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the clear liquid found in the brain, filters through the brain and exchanges with interstitial fluid (ISF), the liquid found around all other cells in the body. This allows chemicals and waste that buildup in the brain to be removed, such as amyloid beta and tau proteins, which are associated with Alzheimers and Parkinsons.
Its been known that this process happens more when were sleeping, with clinical studies showing that sleep drives the removal of amyloid beta from the brain, but this study shows that apparently the position in which we sleep might also influence this clearance. The team anesthetized rats, and then tracked the efficiency of the glymphatic pathway when the rodents were sleeping in one of three positions, either lateral (on their side), prone (on their bellies), or supine (on their backs).
The analysis showed us consistently that glymphatic transport was most efficient in the lateral position when compared to the supineor pronepositions, explained Dr. Helene Benveniste, who coauthored the study published in the Journal of Neuroscience. Because of this finding, we propose that the body posture and sleep quality should be considered when standardizing future diagnostic imaging procedures to assess CSF-ISF transport in humans.
Its interesting in that many mammals naturally tend to sleep on their sides, from dogs to cats and even elephants, although the authors do note that a wild animal’s sleeping behavior is also probably influenced by survival, and thus might be different when compared to humans. As this study was done on rats, its not yet known whether the same conclusions can be drawn for humans, but considering its been shown that both the rodents and people tend to favor sleeping on their side, its not such a wild idea.
Many types of dementia are linked to sleep disturbances, including difficulties in falling asleep, concludesNedergaard.It is increasingly acknowledged that these sleep disturbances may accelerate memory loss in Alzheimers disease. Our finding brings new insight into this topic by showing it is also important what position you sleep in.
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