A decent night’s sleep is something we all need to stay healthy and alert. It’s also very easy to recognise when you’re not getting enough of it. When it comes to sleeping positions, we all have our favourites. It’s all about being comfy, right? Well, according to a new report published by The Journal of Neuroscience, there’s one particular position that the researchers think could benefit everyone, and that’s sleeping on your side.
Why not sleep on our backs or our fronts? Because sleeping on our side is better for us, because it apparently clears out ‘brain waste’. We know what you’re thinking: what the heck is brain waste? Apparently, brain waste is made up of chemicals, like amyloid and tau proteins, which can upset the brain’s processes if left to build up for too long.
While researchers have yet to fully test the method, they maintain that their current findings could be groundbreaking because they might go some way towards potentially warding off neurological diseases like dementia (thought to be connected to sleep disturbance, because it’s believed the brain’s inability to sufficiently clear brain waste leads to memory loss and may even result in Alzheimer’s).
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Another study conducted also came up with another finding in favour of Side Sleeping (BTW sleeping on your back is considered the next best sleeping position) . Both of these positions support the spine and the neck, leading to a more restful night’s sleep and helping to prevent injuries in the long run.
Similarly, this survey found that most people favoured the side-sleeping position, and these subjects were significantly less likely to report waking up during the night bothered by neck, shoulder, or arm pain compared with subjects who slept in any other position.
And the worst position to sleep in? According to chiropractor Cynthia Vaughn, the worst position to sleep in is on your stomach. “There is a consensus that the prone sleep position should be avoided,” she said. “If a person is lying with their belly down and face pressed into the pillow, they must crane their neck in order to breathe,” says Vaughn, “This can begin to strain the vertebrae in the bottom part of your skull after just 15 minutes.”
Food for thought. Would you change your favourite sleeping position? Well, you know how you can sometimes wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Sleeping on the right side might at least help things a little on this front…