How You Sleep Might Be Affecting Your Brain

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elderly woman resting her head on a pillowAre you a side sleeper? You might just be helping your brain in a big way! We all know that a good night’s sleep is great for the body and brain, but new research shows that our sleep positions might play a role in Alzheimer’s prevention. According to the study, certain positions help your brain eliminate buildup of harmful chemicals and the plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

During the study, mice were placed in various sleep positions and scanned with MRIs to review the performance of their glymphatic pathways (which remove harmful waste). It was clear that those sleeping in a lateral position, on their sides, had the most efficient removal of metabolic waste buildup.

Maiken Nedergaard, researcher for the University of Rochester, notes, “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.” This is especially of interest for those with dementia such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological issues, which are often linked to sleep disturbances.

Learn more about how sleep clears the brain in this article from NPR.

Many older adults suffer from age-related sleep issues, and even family caregivers often don’t get enough sleep due to their busy schedules. Heaven at Home Senior Care of Dallas can help both seniors and caregivers get the restorative sleep they need. Contact us for help and respite care if sleeping issues are affecting you or the seniors in your life.