Research Shows Lateral Sleeping May Reduce Risk of Alzheimer’s
Researchers believe sleeping on one’s side is a good way to keep potential medical issues at bay. WTSP reported the findings, explaining that side-sleeping is believed to help clear waste from the brain, spine and nervous system.
The proteins that are subsequently cleaned out of the nervous system negatively affect our brain processes if they build up and are linked to Alzheimer’s.
A similar study conducted by the University of Rochester shows that Alzheimer’s may not be the only disease that side-sleeping can help prevent. Avoiding spending a night on one’s back or stomach can protect against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurological diseases. Lateral sleeping may also be used as a method of reduction of back pain.
“The analysis showed us consistently that glymphatic transport was most efficient in the lateral position when compared to the supine or prone positions,” says Helene Benveniste, principal investigator and a professor of anesthesiology and radiology at Stony Brook University School of Medicine.
According to the Daily Mail, aside from being the healthiest way to sleep, experts say side-sleeping is the most common way for humans and other animals to sleep, leading some to believe we have adapted or it is within our brain chemistry that lateral sleeping is healthy.
“If in fact lateral sleeping on your spine increases the elimination of toxic waste byproducts from our blood and nervous system, then this study is encouraging since most of the diseases that we know of today are based on an inflammatory reaction,” said Dr. Charles S. Theofilos, a board-certified neurosurgeon and founder of The Spine Center. “Inflammation is due to the body’s response to toxic byproducts so anything that can be done to help reduce these toxins will help prevent the progression of these diseases.”
While sleeping on the left or right side may help cleanse the nervous system and spine, getting enough sleep is just as important. Regularly getting a good night’s rest is proven to help reduce the risk of certain health issues.