United States: According to the newest research, the side sleeping position has several benefits compared to other sleeping positions, such as the brain and detoxification process. 

Lying down is best determined by one’s own, but new studies show that side-sleeping might be optimal for brain health

More about the finding 

Traditionally, people pay attention to how they sleep, the position that seems comfortable to them, their breathing habits, and other related health concerns. 

Lying on one’s side has traditionally been associated with the benefits of good spine posture, a decrease in snoring and sleep apnea, and improvement in digestion. 

However, it might also be associated with pain in the shoulder or hips, especially in older individuals, as dailykos.com reported. 

Side Sleeping May Boost Brain Health by Clearing Out Toxins. Credit | Freepik
Side Sleeping May Boost Brain Health by Clearing Out Toxins. Credit | Freepik

Natural preferences of side-sleeping 

According to the National Council on Aging, 50 percent of people in a survey prefer the side sleeping position, and an observational study shows that people spend 54 percent of their time on the side. 

The reason behind this prevalence of side sleeping may be due to particular reasons. 

Sleep position influence on the brain 

But now, there is a new consideration in sleep positioning concerning its possible influence on the state of the brain due to the glymphatic system. 

Here, there is supposed to be a “g” before the “lymphatic.” This system was identified in 2012, and it functions as the brain’s sanitation service by eradicating byproducts of metabolism that develop during wakefulness. 

It is chiefly operational at night, which explains why proper sleep at night is essential to supporting brain function. 

The glymphatic system employs cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to wash out toxins, some proteins linked to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, including the brain. 

This process is beneficial in preserving the brain and minimizing the chances of developing neurological complications, as dailykos.com reported. 

More studies are confirming the benefits 

A more recent work done at Stony Brook University and published in the Journal of Neuroscience also supports this notion. Also, it maintains that sleep position determined the effectiveness with which the forgetter-brainer cleaner went about its business. 

According to the study, sleeping on the side allows more efficient clearance of wastes from the brain than sleeping on the stomach or back in rodents. 

Several factors may contribute to the superiority of side sleeping for brain waste clearance: 

1. The most efficient gravitational movement of postural fluids, which consists of CSF and Interstitial fluid 

2. It explained that favorable cerebral blood flow patterns exist in the body. 

3. Blood vessels and nerves should be located in advantageous positions. 

4. Possible evolutionary adaptation 

The possible relation between the sleep position and the so-called glymphatic system’s effect to remove waste from the brain affects the development and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, as dailykos.com reported. 

Moreover, if side sleeping helps in the removal of these toxic proteins, then it can probably help to prevent such diseases or at least bring down the chances of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s or even can retard the ailment. 


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