Find Out If Tummy, Back Or Side Sleeping Is Best

Posted By on September 20, 2015

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Are you a back, tummy or side sleeper? One of those positions may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Read on to find out if yours is best… 

Want to reduce your chances of developing neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s Disease? 

Sleep on your side, a new study has revealed. 

The lateral, or side, position may prevent neurological diseases because it more effectively removes harmful substances from your brain than other sleep positions, such as your back or stomach, researchers at Stony Brook University have discovered. 

The sleep study of rodents was published Aug. 5 in the Journal of Neuroscience

Scientists believe that the build-up of brain-waste chemicals contributes to the development of Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases. If those harmful chemicals are not removed, they negatively affect brain processes. 

To get their results, the researchers placed the rodents in three sleep positions while under anesthesia. The scientists used dynamic contrast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to observe the brain’s glymphatic pathway, or waste-clearance system, in the animals. 

Study results 
“The analysis showed us consistently that glymphatic transport was most efficient in the lateral position compared to the [back or front] positions,” said researcher Helene Beneviste, M.D., Ph.D., professor of anesthesiology at Stony Brook University School of Medicine.

Researchers have already determined that sleep disruption speeds up memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease. This finding “brings new insight into this topic by showing it is also important what position you sleep in,” said researcher Maiken Nedergaard of the University of Rochester in New York.

Learn more about Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

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