August 8, 2015 at 9:06 am #44616
Could body posture during sleep affect how your brain clears waste?
The brains glymphatic pathway clears harmful wastes, especially during sleep. This lateral position could prove to be the best position for the brain-waste clearance process.
Credit: Stony Brook University
Sleeping in the lateral, or side position, as compared to sleeping on one’s back or stomach, may more effectively remove brain waste and prove to be an important practice to help reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases, according to researchers at Stony Brook University.
By using dynamic contrast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to image the brain’s glymphatic pathway, a complex system that clears wastes and other harmful chemical solutes from the brain, Stony Brook University researchers Hedok Lee, PhD, Helene Benveniste, MD, PhD, and colleagues, discovered that a lateral sleeping position is the best position to most efficiently remove waste from the brain. In humans and many animals the lateral sleeping position is the most common one. The buildup of brain waste chemicals may contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological conditions. Their finding is published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
Dr. Benveniste, Principal Investigator and a Professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology and Radiology at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, has used dynamic contrast MRI for several years to examine the glymphatic pathway in rodent models. The method enables researchers to identify and define the glymphatic pathway, where cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) filters through the brain and exchanges with interstitial fluid (ISF) to clear waste, similar to the way the body’s lymphatic system clears waste from organs.
It is during sleep that the glymphatic pathway is most efficient. Brain waste includes amyloid β (amyloid) and tau proteins, chemicals that negatively affect brain processes if they build up.
In the paper, “The Effect of Body P
osture on Brain Glymphatic Transport,” Dr. Benveniste and colleagues used a dynamic contrast MRI method along with kinetic modeling to quantify the CSF-ISF exchange rates in anesthetized rodents’ brains in three positions — lateral (side), prone (down), and supine (up).
“The analysis showed us consistently that glymphatic transport was most efficient in the lateral position when compared to the supine or prone positions,” said Dr. Benveniste. “Because of this finding, we propose that the body posture and sleep quality should be considered when standardizing future diagnostic imaging procedures to assess CSF-ISF transport in humans and therefore the assessment of the clearance of damaging brain proteins that may contribute to or cause brain diseases.”
Dr. Benveniste and first-author Dr. Hedok Lee, Assistant Professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology and Radiology at Stony Brook developed the safe posture positions for the experiments. Their colleagues at the University of Rochester, including Lulu Xie, Rashid Deane and Maiken Nedergaard, PhD, used fluorescence microscopy and radioactive tracers to validate the MRI data and to assess the influence of body posture on the clearance of amyloid from the brains.
“It is interesting that the lateral sleep position is already the most popular in human and most animals — even in the wild — and it appears that we have adapted the lateral sleep position to most efficiently clear our brain of the metabolic waste products that built up while we are awake,” says Dr. Nedergaard. “The study therefore adds further support to the concept that sleep subserves a distinct biological function of sleep and that is to ‘clean up’ the mess that accumulates while we are awake. Many types of dementia are linked to sleep disturbances, including difficulties in falling asleep.
It is increasing acknowledged that these sleep disturbances may accelerate memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease. Our findng brings new insight into this topic by showing it is also important what position you sleep in,” she explained.
Dr. Benveniste cautioned that while the research team speculates that the human glymphatic pathway will clear brain waste most efficiency when sleeping in the lateral position as compared to other positions, testing with MRI or other imaging methods in humans are a necessary first step.August 13, 2015 at 1:02 pm #44617
This Is Why You Should Be Sleeping On Your Left Side
August 12, 2015
Everyone knows that sleep is very important for maintaining a good physical and mental health. However, the duration of your sleep is just as important as the way in which you sleep. Your sleep position can influence your health, help in keeping your skin look young, and improve your digestive health.
Furthermore, sleeping on the left side of your body can even save your life. If you are currently sleeping in another position, keep reading to find out why you should start sleeping on your left side right now.
IT MATTERS WHICH SIDE YOU SLEEP ON
There are several sleeping positions your front, your back, your left side, and your right side and they all affect your health. Sleeping on the back can be particularly dangerous for people with sleep apnea or asthma, because it can cause breathing difficulties.
Sleeping on the right side is likely to worsen digestion problems, whereas sleeping on the left side may improve digestive symptoms.
BENEFITS OF SLEEPING ON YOUR LEFT SIDE
Sleeping on the left side is believed to greatly improve the health and even save lives. In holistic medicine, the left side of the body is the dominant lymphatic side, and while youre sleeping on this side, your body will have more time to filter toxins, lymph fluid, and waste through the thoracic duct and the lymph nodes.
On the other hand, sleeping on your right side may cause your lymphatic system to run more slowly. You dont want this to happen, because a lymphatic system that doesnt run at full efficiency can become incapable of filtering toxins or properly moving lymph fluid throughout the body. This increases your risk of deadly diseases due to the build-up of toxins.
When you start sleeping on your left side, you might notice your body becoming more efficient at toxin disposal through waste. This happens because this position improves the digestive system, and allows your body to promptly extract nutrients and dispose toxins.
LEARN TO SLEEP IN THIS POSITION
If you normally sleep on your back, your front, or your right side, you might wonder how to break that habit and start sleeping on your left side. This will take some time and practice, but it is possible to quickly train your body to sleep in this position. Here are some tips:
You can try lying on your left side and press a full-length body pillow up against your back. The pillow will prevent you from rolling over during the night.
Try switching the side of the bed you sleep on. This will make it easier for you to flip to your other side and enjoy the same sleeping experience.
Another trick is to keep a dim light lit on your right side. Since your body will naturally want to turn away from the light during sleep, it will make it easier for you to sleep on your left side.
Try these small changes as soon as you can they will improve your sleep routine and lead you to a better health.August 13, 2015 at 1:21 pm #44619
According to the article I just posted, apparently “left side” is best.
However, I’ve seen other comments by folks apart from that article saying that left side creates extra pressure on the heart, and THEY recommend the right side . . .
Of course, sleeping on either side causes a lot of compression on the shoulders and chest, and honestly, you avoid this by sleeping on your back. Sleeping on your back you can just spread out and not compress anything.
Ah, but then you are not clearing brain waste.
What’s a body to do??
How about just listen to your intuition and lay in whichever position your body feels called to, and don’t be afraid to change as the night progresses.
PERSONALLY, I rarely stay in the same position all night: part of the night I’m sleeping on my back, part on my left side, part on my right side. To be honest, my body likes variety and seems to get benefits from every position, so it likes to have a little time with each in any given night. For me, I don’t argue: I do what my body wants. I’ll trust my body over any clever intellectual rules people come up with, any day.
Don’t think too hard about this folks.
Just sleep in a position you feel comfortable with.
SAugust 19, 2015 at 3:08 am #44621
Slightly off topic but related: If practicing yoga nidra/dream practice as going to sleep at night generally emerge from some deep space at some point, ie awake for a few minutes, turn to right side and sleep feeling closer to body. Like two different things – one a deep meditative experience processing memories and problem solving and second more normal body resting. Certainly feel there is something about resting/sleep on right side for orbit to move as per Cultivate Male Energy (CME)book. Also note the caution about warmed up energy jamming in chest in back position. Yoga books suggest tongue to roof of mouth not good in on-back position either, despite images of babies with this. If only doing cool cultivation (like 6 sounds) before bed probably doesn’t matter, just let body do whatever. If any warmed up energy and jing moving around better to be on right side until settled back to belly (per CME book). Feels like energy can move all the way up and down spine. The physical may do similar.
Notice a news report of drug ‘ice’ deaths being often from respiratory trouble and see images of patients in hospitals on their back propped up – a bad position if energy made hot by drug is jamming in chest. Sitting upright and able to lean forward so the orbit can reconnect might be better. IMO sometimes practice of internal alchemy late at night can result in something like this – wake up, need to be sitting up, feet on floor, to let volumes of energy move and rebalance as necessary. Trying to avoid internal alchemy before bed – having done earlier. Notice Chia/Jan books on internal alchemy have a daily chi cycle chart suggesting activities at times of day night and emphasising cool down.
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