05 Apr The Sleep Position To Detoxify Your Brain
The instant focus with sleep is how much you get, but the position you sleep in also impacts your health, including your brain health and how effectively your body can detoxify your brain.
One of the five life forces, detoxification, is happening in the body all day long. Detoxification is your body’s waste removal. It’s how your body handles all the toxins and poisons and other junk the world throws as us.
New studies are showing that your brain does a larger portion of its detoxification at night, while you sleep, compared to when you are awake.
Have you ever wondered how your body detoxifies your brain? It actually uses two systems detoxify your brain. The first is cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which cleanses brain tissue by carrying away waste products (and also brings nutrients to brain tissue) through a process known as diffusion.
The second detoxification method, which wasn’t discovered until 2012, is called the glymphatic system. It was given this name because is acts similarly to the lymphatic system, another key detoxification system located throughout your body.
“It’s as if the brain has two garbage haulers – a slow one that we’ve known about [the CSF], and a fast one that we’ve just met [the glymphatic system],” said Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., D.M.Sc., senior author of the paper that announced the discovery of new system. “Given the high rate of metabolism in the brain, and its exquisite sensitivity, it’s not surprising that its mechanisms to rid itself of waste are more specialized and extensive than previously realized.”
Sleeping itself lets your brain efficiently remove more waste, but the position you are sleeping in (on your back, your stomach, or your side) plays a role as well.
A study in the Journal of Neuroscience found that body position in sleeping changed how efficiently water was cleared via the glymphatic system.
The most efficient removal of waste happens when sleeping on your side, compared to sleeping on your back or your stomach.
Interestingly enough, the principles of Ayurveda, which have existed for centuries, have always emphasized sleeping on your side (your left side specifically, the reasons’ why are an entirely different blog!). Even without fancy tests, ancient cultures have always stayed in tune to what creates health.
Studies show that almost all neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, are created when protein waste accumulates in the brain, which in turn slowly suffocates and kills the brain’s neurons.
Sleeping on your side, which improves how effectively your body can detoxify your brain, can reduce your chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other serious brain disorders.
This is great news for all of you that are natural side sleepers! For the rest of you, it might be worth the effort to try and start!