The way we sleep has more to do with how it feels when we wake up than meets the eye. Everyone knows how certain sleeping postures can cause stiff necks, tight muscles and joints, or grogginess. There is new evidence that side-sleeping offers health benefits by promoting improved lymphatic drainage of the brain and spinal tissues. Since the cells associated with this are called “glail cells,” the term “glymphatic system” was coined. The Glymphatic System, does a profound job during the graveyard shift: it rids the brain of waste. New research strongly suggests that the postures we assume while sleeping can encourage efficient brain waste removal by allowing the cerebrospinal fluid to flow more freely.
From Science Daily
Could body posture during sleep affect how your brain clears waste?
Date: August 4, 2015
Source:Stony Brook University
- Sleeping in the side position, as compared to 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 and other neurological diseases, new research suggests.
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This is all nice in theory, but how to sleep comfortably on one’s side can be a challenge. Laying on your side puts a sideways pull on the spinal cord, making it bow in the center like a telephone line between two poles. I teach how to find the proper support so this distortion can be elliminated. My patients tell me how this technique gives them more restful sleep, they wake up less stiff, and ready to take on the world.