As compared to sleeping on your back or stomach, sleeping on your side may help to clear brain waste.
The brain’s glymphatic pathway is responsible for clearing harmful wastes particularly amyloid-beta plaques that characterize Alzheimer’s Disease, during sleep. Employing an animal model, Helen Benveniste, from Stony Brook University (New York, USA), and colleagues studied the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) - interstitial fluid (ISF) exchange efficiency – a marker of the clearance capacity of the glymphatic pathway. The team found that sleeping in the lateral position (on one’s side) may more effectively remove brain wastes including amyloid-beta, as compared to sleeping on the back or stomach. The study authors submit that: “We propose that the most popular sleep posture (lateral) has evolved to optimize waste removal during sleep." Feeling uncomfortable?, your body hurt? or can't sleep?
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References: - Lee H, Xie L, Yu M, Kang H, Feng T, Deane R, Logan J, Nedergaard M, Benveniste H. “The Effect of Body Posture on Brain Glymphatic Transport.” J Neurosci. 2015 Aug 5;35(31):11034-44.
- Worldhealth.net, Non-Profit Trusted Source of Non-Commercial Health Information Posted on Dec. 30, 2016, 6 a.m. in Sleep Alzheimer's Disease Brain and Mental Performance
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