What position do you sleep in? Apparently, it makes a difference.
If you scroll to the bottom of this HuffPost article about sleep, you should see a video titled, “How the Position You Sleep In Affects Your Night.” It reviews good and bad positions for sleeping. The worst is probably sleeping on your stomach, because of the stress it puts on your lower back.
But the end of the video says the following:
“On Your Side: Compared to the other positions, this is the best. When sleeping on your side, all the waste that damages your brain is cleansed, reducing the risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.”
I used to sleep on my side a lot, but recently switched to sleeping on my stomach. I’ll have to switch back.
Follow up 24 hours later:
After posting this yesterday, I went to bed, slept on my side, then woke up remembering I had already reviewed this topic! Two years ago! To read the original post, which was based on research at Stony Brook University, click here: click!
Basically, the brain accumulates waste products during the day, including soluble proteins and excess extracellular fluid. The glymphatic system removes these waste products, and it does so better at night, when you sleep, because during sleep the brain’s interstitial space volume expands, allowing for faster flow and greater quantity of garbage being flushed out of your cranium.
Furthermore, the glymphatic system works best if you’re lying on your side. I can see how, say, lying on your stomach might slow the process down, as you have to twist your neck so your face is over either your right or left shoulder, which would squeeze everything that flows in and out of your noggin.
My, how time flies! And apparently, so does my memory…right out the window!
Bottom line: Sleep on your side!